(Uttar Pradesh): He is a retired Indian Air Force (IAF)
serviceman with two grown-up sons who are well settled. Yet,
Meerut native Jaigopal Tiwari has gone back to college at the ripe
old age of 64 - thanks to his passion for learning and for helping
spread awareness of basic laws among poor people.
Tiwari is studying at Deena Ram Public Law College, Robertsganj,
in Sonbhadra district.
"I strongly believe there's no age for learning. The urge to learn
more and more has made me a student in this phase of life when
people of my age prefer taking rest," Tiwari told IANS on
telephone from Sonbhadra, some 350 km from Lucknow.
"Frankly speaking, after enrolling myself as a student, I feel the
good old college days are back. I feel quite fortunate to get a
chance to enjoy the college days for a second time... the company
of friends, hanging out with them at canteens...I am enjoying all
this. It all makes me feel younger and energetic," he added.
Tiwari joined the IAF as an aircraftsman in 1963, but took
voluntary retirement when he was a corporal in 1978 due to family
He has no regret about leaving the service. "It would have been
good if I had continued with the service. But still I have no
regrets, as I got the opportunity to participate in the
India-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971...It makes me satisfied."
Tiwari, who already had a BA degree from Karnataka University,
cleared the entrance test of the Deena Ram Public Law College and
is at present in the fourth semester of LLB.
"Frankly speaking, after having served the country and shouldering
my family responsibilities, I have now got the time to fulfil my
wish of learning," said Tiwari, who has two sons who are well
"For the LLB entrance test, I worked very hard. I remember my wife
used to sit with me and help me make preparation notes," he
On why he preferred law, Tiwari said: "In my life, I have come
across several occasions that made me realise the importance of
law. I personally feel it (a law course) gives you the knowledge
of implementing a number of tools that our constitution provides
to everyone of us. Most of us are even not aware about the basic
principles of law.
"As a result, even after having certain tools, we cannot apply
them to safeguard us. I am not sure I will be able to do it or
not, but I wish to do a bit of social service by making the poor
aware about basic laws."
Tiwari, who is originally a native of Swarajyapath town in Meerut,
has taken a room in Sonbhadra to pursue his studies.
His dedication has also made him a model to his fellow-students,
who freely consult him for various study-related as well as other
"His seriousness towards studies can be gauged from the fact that
he has left his home to pursue LLB. He is punctual in class. It's
great to be friends with a person like him," said Tript Chaubey,
Hans Raj Kamal, another LLB student, said: "He is more experienced
than us. Not only study-related, we turn to him whenever we face
any type of problem in the life."
Srivastava can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)