Nepali grandfather goes Back to School at 68

A 68-year-old Nepali grandfather of eight returns to secondary school to complete his studies after his wife’s death. DESIblitz finds out more.

Nepalese grandfather goes Back to School at 68

"He is a little weak in his studies, but we can help him out with that."

68-year-old Durga Kami was unable to finish off his studies as a child because of poverty.

Now, the Nepali man has decided to put his uniform on and go to school six days a week.

With his white beard and walking stick, Kami isn’t the typical student at Shree Kala Bhairab higher secondary school.

Poverty prevented the widower from finishing his education and achieving his goals of becoming a teacher and left school at 11 years old.

Now the father of six and grandfather of eight trudges an hour to and from school everyday with his walking stick for support, for another day of learning.

Nepalese grandfather goes Back to School at 68“To forget my sorrows I go to school,” says Kami who walks to school in Syangja district where he lives.

The senior citizen heads back to school to escape the loneliness of his rustic hilltop home after the death of his wife.

Despite his age, the senior classmate joins the children in all activities, including volleyball in the playground.

In a school of 200 children, Kami studies alongside 14 and 15-year-olds.

The children in his tenth grade class have nicknamed Kami ‘Baa’, which translates to father in Nepali.

Nepalese grandfather goes Back to School at 68Dr Koirala, a teacher at the school encourages Kami to go back to school, providing him with his stationary and school uniform.

Dr Koirala says:

“It is my first experience teaching a person who in as senior as my father’s age. I feel very excited and happy.”

Sagar Thapa, one of Kami’s 14-year-old classmates says: “I used to think why is this old man coming to school to study with us? But as time passed I enjoyed his company.”

He adds: “He is a little weak in his studies compared to us but we can help him out with that.

“If they see an old person with a white beard like mine studying in school, they might be motivated as well.”

Nepalese grandfather goes Back to School at 68Kami, who wishes to study until his death, hopes that this will inspire the next generation and encourages others to ignore the barrier of age when it comes to education.

Gayatri, a Journalism and Media graduate is a foodie with an interest in books, music and films. She is a travel bug, enjoys learning about new cultures and lives by the motto “Be blissful, gentle and fearless.”

Images courtesy of Reuters