There’s life after 40, as these candidates proved

All that Sarvamangala T.V. gets after passing her SSLC examination is a Rs. 50 hike in her monthly honorarium. But for her, passing this examination is a matter of immense joy as she has finally completed a task she had given up in 1984.

Ms. Sarvamangala, a native of Tejuru in Holenarsipur taluk, has been working as an anganwadi teacher at Buruvayunakoplu in Periyapatna taluk of Mysore district. This year she took the exams in Government Junior College at Halli Mysore as a private candidate and passed by securing 244 out of 625. According to her result sheet posted on the official website, she is aged about 51. However, when The Hindu contacted her over phone, she insisted she was only 43.

Ms. Sarvamangala got the job as an anganwadi worker when she was in Class 10. She could not clear the exams that year. Nor did she attempt it in the following years. “I happened to visit my school last year to get a study certificate required for a pension scheme. The school staff suggested that I take up the exam. I thought it is a good idea,” said Ms. Sarvamangala, whose only daughter recently got married after completing her graduation. Her husband Girish has passed his Pre-University exam and works as an electrician.

Ms. Sarvamangala prepared for her exams after taking help from students appearing for the exam in her neighbourhood. “A couple of children among close relatives helped me with their notes and textbooks. My husband, who has passed PU in the science stream, also helped in my studies. Somehow I managed to pass,” she said.

For Srikante Gowda, a cook in a government hostel meant for students of backward classes and minorities in Hassan, cleared the exam at the age of 44. He secured 293 marks in his third attempt. He has been serving as cook for last 15 years without a promotion. In his department, many of those appointed as cooks have secured promotions up to the post of warden over the years.

“Hoping that one day I will also be promoted to higher posts, I took this exam and passed. ,” he said over phone.

He took the exam as a private student at Adichunchanagiri Kannada High School in Hassan city. He had given up studies after Class 7, he confessed.