Jnanpith Awardee Ravuri Bharadwaja was conferred with honorary doctorate at the first convocation of Vignan University here on Saturday.
Dr. Bharadwaja in a brief speech to the students made an earnest appeal to help the underprivileged people in society.
“I have struggled all my life just to feed myself and educate and after the entire struggle, I took a vow to help people to get access food and education,’’ said 85-year-old Dr. Bharadwaja striking an emotional chord with the students.
The atmosphere turned heavy as one of the most eminent writers of the modern era tuned nostalgic reminding the students of how he had struggled to make a living all his life, forced to quench his thirst by sipping water from public taps and sleeping on pavements.
The writer said he had long association with Guntur.
“People used to make fun of me saying that I came to Guntur only to drink water,’’ he said.
Education has been the biggest agent of change in society, he said urging the students to make full use of opportunities.
He also appealed to chairman of Vignan Group Lavu Rathiah to provide a school for senior citizens.
“I am Class 7 dropout. I have received honorary doctorates from Andhra University, JNTU, and Acharya Nagarjuna University and Vignan University is the fourth university to confer doctorate on me,’’ Dr. Bharadwaja said.
The writer was presented with a memento, a scroll and was felicitated by the management committee of the university.