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Retired 80-year-old ONGC official from Dehradun gets 6th degree

An 80-year-old man in Dehradun, who has two professional degrees and three diplomas, added one more feather to his hat this month – a master of tourism degree.

ML Gandhi received his sixth educational qualification on April 3 at the 32nd convocation ceremony of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here. He was conferred the degree along with 1,454 other students for various subjects. Originally from Balochistan, Pakistan, Gandhi shifted to India during the Partition and settled in Dehradun.

Gandhi, who retired as deputy general manager (productions) from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited in 1997, resumed his studies in 2006 with an MBA from IGNOU.

He was born in Quetta, Balochistan where his family had a business, but they moved to Dehradun in 1947 during the Partition. “I was 8-years-old when I came to Dehradun with my family. I had done all my schooling in Urdu till that age, but here all of a sudden I was put in an English medium school. It was like an alien language to me. I learnt my ABCs properly when I was in 6th standard,” Gandhi said.

After schooling, he completed a diploma in mechanical engineering from IIT Roorkee and bachelors in engineering from an open university in Kolkata, after which he started working at ONGC in 1972.

“For almost 25 years, I did not find time to think about studying, but then after retirement when my son had also settled down, I thought why not resume my studies and that is when I decided to do my MBA. I know I will not find a job at this age, but what is the harm in gaining knowledge?” Gandhi said, while laughing about the wide range of subjects that he chose to study.

In 2012, he completed a post graduate diploma (PGDM) in environment and sustainable development and another PGDM in disaster management in 2014. He enrolled for a master’s degree in tourism in 2016, which he completed in 2018 and after that he joined a PGDM in sustainability science, which is underway. Gandhi pursued all these courses at IGNOU.

“Education helps me keep myself occupied and fit for my other hobbies, which are trekking and gardening. I have been going on treks to Mussoorie every month for the last 21 years,” said Gandhi. In his free time, he also advises working professionals with subjects similar to what he has studied, and also with what further education they could pursue.

Gandhi, who receives a pension from ONGC, said he funds his education himself.

His 75-year-old wife, Hemlata Gandhi, when asked about what she feels about her husband taking up one course after another said, “It is good only, like a God-gift that he has. I have always been a housewife and he could not study when he was young. Now, we both do what we love. He studies whatever he likes, and I follow my spiritual and religious beliefs.”

Hemlata has completed a bachelor in arts degree.

The octogenarian wants to work with an NGO after completing his ongoing diploma in sustainability science, but alongside he wishes to keep studying whatever he feels like and can study.

First Published:
Apr 19, 2019 16:32 IST

Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/retired-80-year-old-ongc-official-from-dehradun-gets-6th-degree/story-v7asGKGBZsCrame2ue9BzI.html

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