Ameer Hassan Arkula has served as principal of four B.Ed. colleges

A 70-year-old retired principal joined a regular post-graduation course in yogic science (M.Sc) at Mangalore University on Monday. Age did not deter the teacher from studying further who said he stepped into his 71st year on the day of his admission.

The retired principal, Ameer Hassan Arkula, has B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed. and LL.B degrees to his credit. He served as principal of four B.Ed. colleges here before joining the two-year post-graduation course.

Mr. Arkula, father of three children, told The Hindu that he was the principal of St. Ann’s College of Education here from 1973 to 2001. Later, he served as the principal of Srinivas College of Education, Leelavathi Shetty College of Education, both in Mangalore, and Alva’s College of Education, Moodbidri.

“I believe in naturopathy and yoga propagated by Mahatma Gandhi. I am influenced by the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and George Bernard Shah,” he said.

Mr. Arkula said that as a member of senior citizens’ association in Mangalore he has been witnessing their health problems.

After completing the course he wants to serve them as a yoga therapist.

He has plans to open an institution of his own to treat senior citizens.

The retired principal said that he considered allopathy as best suited to cases of urinary-related problems, accidents, in cases of deliveries and surgeries. He believed that yoga and naturopathy methods were good for other health problems.

As a young boy in the 1960s, Mr. Arkula wanted to become a doctor.

Though he had got a free seat in Calicut (Kozhikode) Medical College he could not join.

It was because by then his father had retired as a teacher of a school in Kasaragod and Mr. Arkula did not have money to spend Rs. 60 per month for boarding and lodging facility at Kozhikode.

With no other option he joined the B.Sc. course in the government degree college at Kasaragod.

The retired principal said that it was after his request that Kannada writer Vinayak Krishna Gokak, who was the Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University in 1970, opened the evening M.Ed. course in Bangalore University. “I was among the 20 students of the first batch,” he said.

Krishna Sharma, who is heading the Yogic Science Department at the university and is much junior in age to Mr. Arkula, said that teachers in the department could learn from the experiences of Mr. Arkula. “The give-and-take process will definitely help us,” he said.

Mr. Arkula said that he would not feel uncomfortable to learn with young students.

Meanwhile, admissions for post-graduation courses for 2013-14 started at the university on Monday.

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