KOCHI: There is no age bar for learning. A 62-year-old man hailing from Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, has proved that age is not a deterrent to achieving your dreams. Post his retirement, P T Lawrence, inspired by A P J Abdul Kalam’s words that ‘You have to dream before your dreams can come true’, went back to school to appear for 12th standard, and has come out with flying colours. He was presented the MLA Award by MP Shashi Tharoor, who tweeted about it.
“Among the young kids who won awards for scoring A+ marks was 62-year-old P T Lawrence who went back to school after retirement,” tweeted Tharoor.An upbeat Lawrence says: “I scored the highest mark in Malayalam from my school. Studying with those little friends was a thrilling experience. They were very helpful and I always felt one among them.”
In 1971, he attempted to clear 10th standard exam thrice, but couldn’t make it. His hectic life and pressure to meet ends didn’t allow him to pursue studies for a while. But, all the domestic woes never doused his passion for learning. After fulfilling all his responsibilities - educating his three daughters and marrying them off - he moved to achieve his dreams. After 36 years, Lawrence decided to complete his education and began his school journey in 2009.
At the age of 55, his determination and hard work paid off when Lawrence scored distinction in SSLC. He joined the open school for class 10 during his service period as a store attendant in ITI. He passed out in 2010, by securing 481 marks out of 600 from Government HSS Boys Neyyattinkara School.On March 31, 2011, Lawrence retired from his job, post which he decided to continue with his studies. He joined 11th standard in the same school but his mother’s demise forced him to discontinue the classes.
After three years in 2015, he again applied for 11th standard at Neyyatinkkara school. And, armed with perseverance he cleared his 12th standard. “I could achieve this only because of my family support. I am busy during morning hours at my shop. But, during nights, I could do my assignments and prepare for exams,” said Lawrence.
He is also involved in social service works. Lawrence, who received the Dr B R Ambedkar Highest National Excellence Award 2018, helps widows near his place. He has applied for degree courses from Kerala University. “I am planning to do LLB after completing graduation in history,” he said.