75-yr-old woman completes MA with first class despite suffering heart attack during exam


Kamala Bhai shows her MA marklist on a mobile phone. He husband Janardhanan Pillai is also seen. Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kottarakkara: Inspiring all students, a 75-year-old woman has completed MA even after suffering a heart attack during the exam. Interestingly, she cleared the exams with first class and proved that age is just a number.

Kamala Bhai, a native of Thrikkannamangal, successfully completed postgraduation. A retired teacher, she always wanted to complete postgraduation in Malayalam. She is the wife of Janardhanan Pillai who retired as headmaster from Padinjattinkkara Government UP School. The couple worked in the same school.

Even after completing BA and B.Ed, Kamala Bhai didn’t get a chance to complete the MA course. Though she had registered for MA in Kerala university at the age of 35, she failed to get admission.

As she completed B.Ed from the University of Calicut, a migration certificate was mandatory for admission. Though she had applied for the certificate twice, the university didn’t issue it. Because of this, Kerala university declined her MA registration. But Kamala Bhai was determined to pursue her dream.

“Once, Kerala University has published an advertisement of distance education. It clearly mentioned that migration certificate and transfer certificate are not mandatory for those who are above 70 years. My children noticed this ad and showed it to me. So without wasting time, I started my MA after registering at Kariavattom campus,” Kamala explained her journey to fulfil her long-time dream.

During the COVID period, the 75-year-old woman attended online classes like other students. Her husband and children stood by her with all support. Unfortunately, she suffered a heart attack during the second-year exam last March.

After discharging from ICU, she reached exam hall at Kottarakkara SG College and appeared for three exams by sitting in a wheelchair.

On Saturday, she received her MA mark list. The Septuagenarian has cleared her post-graduation with 65 percent marks.

Kamala Bhai fulfilled most of her dreams in old age. She completed training at Nirbhaya project of Kerala Police and obtained driving license for scooter, autorickshaw and car.

The Distance Education department of Kerala University has decided to honour the senior post-graduate.

Kamala Bhai and her husband have three children namely Amritha Kamal who is a teacher, Amisha Kamal, a scientist, and Aswinidev who works as an engineer in Bengaluru.

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