THOOTHUKUDI: As another International Literacy Day passed us on Wednesday, not many of us might have cared for its observance. In a world where NEET and CAT rule the roost, the ability to read, write, and keep the mind ripe for learning at all ages, is taken for granted.
Rarely, however, does a person take the effort to educate oneself throughout life. This is why 75-year-old M Ganesh Nadar is a revelation. After his retirement, he completed eight master’s degrees and now aspires to bag a PhD degree in sociology.
Hailing from a poor family in Arumuganeri near Tiruchendur, Ganesh completed SSLC in 1965. He landed an attender job in Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation (SPIC) in 1974, and retired from the corporation as an operator in 2004.
For most people, this would be the time to unwind. Not for Ganesh. He finished his higher studies and took up post graduate studies. He has four children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Sitting in his Rahmath Nagar house in Thoothukudi town, Ganesh told TNIE: “My parents were farmers. They could not send me for higher studies. I am studying now because I enjoy it. The desire to study further came to me first when I was ill-treated by officials at Thoothukudi Thermal Power Plant (TTPS) in 2005. After my retirement, I approached TTPS for a contract. But, the engineer there belittled me for having only SSLC as qualification,” he recalled.
First, Ganesh gained mastery in English and then joined BA (Sociology) course in 2008. Between 2011 and 2021, Ganesh secured M.A degrees in Sociology, History, Public Administration, Political Science, Human Rights, Social Work, Economics and Tamil.
“When I applied for Ph.D in sociology at Tamil Nadu Open University, the Vice Chancellor sent me a letter appreciating my efforts and had asked me to appear for the entrance exam scheduled for this December. I request the government to allow me to pursue Ph.D without the entrance exam considering my age and aspirations,” Ganesh added.