Ballari: Age no bar! 89-year-old teacher takes Ph.D test

Ballari: Child prodigies usually draw awe for jumping ahead of other students to clear exams attempted only by those much older. But on Wednesday last, it was an 89- year- old, who drew all the attention here for writing an exam for admission to a Ph.D course at Hampi Kannada University.

A retired high school teacher, Mr Sharanabasavaraj Bisarahalli of Koppal, wrote the entrance exam along with students young enough to be his grandchildren. Born in 1929, Mr Bisarahalli had participated in the Freedom Movement as a schoolboy and fought against the Nizam’s rule and for unification of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region with the Union of India after Independence. He started teaching in 1951-52 at Kavalur near Koppal and retired in 1992 after working in many village schools.

But retirement to him clearly meant acquiring more knowledge as he did a PG degree in Kannada Literature from Dharwad University and then a law degree later. Having published many books on Kannada literature, he is now keen on doing research on Vachana Literature.

While he wrote his Ph.D entrance exam at the Hampi University last year too, he failed. But not letting this deter him, he attempted it a second time this year. “This time, I have done well and am confident of clearing the exam,” he said.

While students usually do their teachers proud, it is his students, who are taking pride now in Mr Bisarahalli’s achievements and his never say die attitude. Said Mr Hanumanthappa Angadi Chilavadagi, president of the Koppal district Chutuku Sahitya Parishad, whom he once taught, “I am proud that my teacher wrote the exam along with me. He has proved that age is no bar for those who seek knowledge!”

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