M. Chellathai (67) was brimming with joy when her dream of pursuing masters’ degree in History at the Tamil Nadu Open University came true. A resident of Ram Nagar, Madipakkam, M Chellathai told The Hindu that she will join another course to study Law too.

TN governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is the university chancellor, admitted Chellathai to the masters’ course.

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Challenges faced

Five decades ago, Chellathai’s ended her studies by tearing up an application for admission to Queen Mary’s College. She wanted to join the pre-university course in Chennai after clearing her SSLC in her hometown, Sattur. Her father had made it clear that their family didn’t allow girls to pursue higher education.

“Every young student I talk to reminds me of the opportunities I have now. One of my daughters at home assists me. I work hard,” – Chellathai

She got married in Kadambur. Her husband too belittled her desire to pursue a degree.

However, her husband allowed her to work as a clerk in the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation. She retired in 2009. Her husband expired in 2013.

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Second shot at realising dream

Waiting for her retirement to fulfil her dream was the only option left with Chellathai. She used the money she received as retirement benefits for her education.

Though unable to get higher education, Chellathai has ensured that her girl children received proper education. They are now helping her realise her dream.

“Every young student I talk to reminds me of the opportunities I have now. One of my daughters at home assists me. I work hard,” says Chellathai.

Age should not be a barrier in pursuing what one wants to. We have one life and it is important to make the most of it

Picture Credit: The Hindu
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