Bhubaneswar, Aug 23 (IBNS) A former Lok Sabha member is pursuing a post graduate degree in a university in Orissa at 71 when many other of his age prefer to lead a retire life.
Narayan Sahu who represented Orissa’s Deogarh constituency in Lok Sabha from 1980-1984 from Indian national congress has been attending regular classes at Utkal University at state capital Bhubaneswar with all other students of his grandchild’s age.
Every day he reaches the educational institution on time and was seen seriously listening to the lectures and jotting down the points while sitting in the first row of the class room.
He does not feel bad. Rather he enjoys spending time in the library, speaking to students and teachers on Philosophy-the subject on which he wants to become a master.
“I am comfortable with everybody. I don’t think other students and teachers have any problem with me” clad with white shirt and pajama, Sahu- who was also a syndicate member of the same university in 1977 said.
“I have never stood second in any examination in the past. I have always stood first. This time I hope to top the university” the man who got admission into the two year post graduate degree course in philosophy of the university this year’s academic session after qualifying an entrance test said.
“Classes started on August 16 this year and since then I have never missed any one. I will try not to miss any class in the coming days” he said.
Sahu a resident of Gelheikateni village in the district of Dhenkanal, some 190 kms from state capital Bhubaneswar was also a member of the state legislative assembly for two consecutive terms from local Pallahara constituency from 1971-1973 and 1974-1977.
The veteran congress leader who graduated from century-old Ravenshaw College at Cuttack in the state decades ago with Economic honours with distinction and also secured a bachelor degree with distinction in education (B.Ed(Distn.) has opened several private schools in his home district during his political career.
“It was always a dream for me to become a post graduate. I have already devoted much of time in serving the people of the country “Sahu said.
Sahu has four daughters and two sons all of them married and settled. His wife died six years ago.
The man who lives in a government guest house meant for former legislatures at Bhubaneswar gets a monthly pension of about Rs.14, 000 (six thousand as an ex member of legislative assembly and eight thousand as a ex member of Lok Sabha).
He does not own a vehicle nor does he have any house or land at state capital. “I have applied for a room in one of the gents hostels in the university campus and hope I will get one to pursue my study” he said.
“I joined the university as a student because I must do now what I could not do earlier” Sahu who was born on 31 March 1938 and now almost retired from active politics said.
“I want to concentrate on study for next two years. I don’t have any other agenda“ Sahu who travels to the university in auto and some time in town bus like many any other college students said.
“When I saw him, I thought he is the father of any student but when I was told he is a student it made me happy” philosophy department head R C Das said adding that he himself feels proud about it.
Students reading with the septuagenarian leader have also similar feelings.
Mahatma Gandhi had said ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever’. “He is an example for us. His interest in study inspires all of us” said one of the 64 students of his class.
“We consider him as our son. Whatever our father is doing we are happy” one of Sahu’s sons said.