She is 80. Yet she has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. She is the living proof of the adage ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’

T.P. Shanthabai, a resident of 4th Cross, 2nd Main, Chamarajapet, Bangalore, is the elderly achiever who received PG Convocation certificate from Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to the huge applause of the audience during the 13th Convocation of KSOU at Kalamandira in city yesterday.

Shanthabai, who received MA degree in Sanskrit, also bagged cash prize for scoring the highest marks. A retired Deputy Director (Minorities) of Education Department, Shanthabai has already secured three degrees apart from MA in Sanskrit.

Born in Tekal village of Kolar district, Shanthabai married Mukunda Rao who has now retired as the Chief Commissioner of Excise Department. Shanthabai is a graduate in B.Sc. (Mysore University-1952), B.Ed. (Usmania University, Hyderabad- 1953) and MA in Mathematics (Benaras University). She has even learnt French.

Sharing her happiness with reporters, Shanthabai said: “No achievement is possible without a will. I took up Sanskrit studies on my own since I couldn’t teach the language to my granddaughter. But after some years, I felt I had to learn it under a teacher. So I joined Vidyuth Uttama Alankara course in Bangalore and later MA in Sanskrit offered by KSOU. I never read at nights, but only twice a week with my friends. I also studied with my friends through Skype with the help of my grandson.”

“Today, less and less people are opting for Sanskrit studies. Though studying Sanskrit is quite difficult, it is possible through hard work,” she added. To the question if she would teach in Sanskrit, the octogenarian answered in the negative, adding that she had a lot more to study.

Her friends Jayashri, Saroja and Sanskrit lecturer Leelavathi accompanied her.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore