Getting older has its challenges. But how we take on these challenges defines them as positive or negative. Some of us see the half-empty glass, some it half-full. We have some good news that makes a case for the optimist in all of us because aging doesn’t have to be as difficult as some of us make it.
Some people believe that if senior citizens increase their social interaction and keep themselves physically and mentally active they can lead a healthy and happy life. Continuing studies is one of the ways to lead a better active life.
Most people will not have any interest to continue their studies in their old age, however, a 75-year-old M Ganesh Nadar is a role model for all who hesitate to study in their old age.
Hailing from a farmer’s family in Arumuganeri near Tiruchendur, Ganesh completed SSLC in 1965. He landed an attendee 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 but not for Ganesh. After his retirement, he completed eight master’s degrees and now aspires to bag a PhD degree in sociology.
He has four children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Ganesh Nadar is an active sportsman and teaches English to sports hostel students at Tharuvai for free
Ganesh’s parents were farmers and they could not send him for higher studies. He started studying after his retirement because he enjoys it.
The desire to study further came to him first when he was ill-treated by officials at Thoothukudi Thermal Power Plant (TTPS) in 2005 when he approached TTPS for a contract. The engineer there had belittled him for having only SSLC as a qualification.
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.
He then applied for Ph.D in sociology at Tamil Nadu Open University. The Vice-Chancellor sent him a letter appreciating his efforts and had asked him to appear for the entrance exam scheduled for this December.
Ph.D. is short for Doctor of Philosophy. This is an academic or professional degree that, in most countries, qualifies the degree holder to teach their chosen subject at the university level or to work in a specialized position in their chosen field.
The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the Ancient Greek philosophia, literally translated as ‘love of wisdom’. It originally signified an individual who had achieved a comprehensive general education in the fundamental issues of the present world. Today, the Doctor of Philosophy still requires a love of wisdom but applies to individuals who have pursued knowledge in a much more specialized field.