Meet the 68-year old grandfather who went back to school after his wife’s death

Nepal’s Durga Kami’s dream as a child was to grow up to be a teacher.

But, poverty prevented his family from letting him complete his studies and unfortunately Kami’s dream of becoming a teacher remained unfulfilled.

When his wife died a few years ago, Kami, unable to deal with the loneliness, decided it was time to do something about it and enrolled in a local school.

As a result, Kami, a 68-year-old father of six children and a grandfather of eight goes to school six days a week, as a student in the tenth grade at Shree Kala Bhairab higher secondary school in Nepal.

Everyday, he brushes his bushy beard, puts on his school uniform and with the help of his walking stick, hikes for over an hour to class for another day of learning. He is one of the oldest students in Nepal.

Kami who lives alone in a one-room house in a hilltop village in Syangja district told Reuters in an interview that he goes to school ‘to forget his sorrows.’

He also added that he intends to continue his studies until he dies and hopes that people use him as an example to motivate themselves to ignore age barriers.

“If they see an old person with a white beard like me studying in school they might get motivated as well,” he said.

Before this, Kami went to Kaharay Primary School where he learnt to read and write and left after finishing grade five with 11-year-olds.

He was then invited to the high school by D.N Koirala, Shree Kala Bhairab’s teacher. The school provided him with stationery and the school uniform.

The 20 children in his class have nicknamed him Kami ‘Baa’ which means ‘father’ in Nepali. His classmates were initially puzzled at an elderly man being in the same class as them, but they now enjoy his company and also help him out with his studies.

Despite his age, their elderly classmate participates in all activities with the 20 other students, including volleyball.

Next year, Kami will be one of the many students who will take the National School Leaving Certificate Exam and he has told his classmates that hill will shave his beard if he passes the exam.

Image credit: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

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