Provash Chandra Mondal, a 59-year-old home guard of West Bengal police who had to drop out of school 46 years ago to support his family, cleared his Madhyamik examinations on Thursday.
Mandal, father of three, said both his daughters were postgraduates and his son was a graduate — something that inspired him to be “at least pass Class X” before he would retire from his service next February. At present posted at the Baruipur police district, Mondal had enrolled himself with the Bidhannagar Poura Mukta Vidyalaya which is under the West Bengal Council of Rabindra Open Schooling, said a senior officer of the police district.
He had appeared for the Madhyamik this year from the school. “I passed my Class IX exam from a small Bengali medium school in Basanti in 1976. After that my family shifted to another address and I was forced to give up my studies in order to support my family. My father had a very small sweetmeat shop that he used to run at Paschim Chowbhaga. I used to help him at the shop for some time before I got a job in the police,” Mondal said.
Family and work responsibilities apparently forced him to postpone his dream of studying. Mondal who has worked in several police stations, including Jadavpur, Behela, Regent Park, Kasba, Thakurpukur, before they were included in the Kolkata police jurisdiction, said he had always wanted to pursue his studies but never managed time.
After more than four decades, he finally mustered the courage to pursue his dreams and again became a “student.”
Mandal said his children helped him a lot with his studies and often guided him in solving mathematics problems. “My wife Shobha and three children — Purnima, Sagar and Pinky — have been very supportive. I could not have managed to balance work, personal life and studies without their support,” he said.
Mondal’s whose results were declared on Thursday, scored highest in geography. “I was a little worried about maths and would often doze off while studying at night. But I am grateful to my superiors who would always encourage me and support my family in times of emergencies,” Mondal said.
According to his colleagues, Mondal would complete his duties, go home and prepare for his exams. Mondal was felicitated at Baruipur police district headquarters by Baruipur police superintendent Pushpa and additional superintendent Maqsood Hasan on Friday. “He has proved that age is no bar if there is a will to pursue one’s passion,” Hasan said.
Pushpa told The Telegraph she was “extremely happy and proud of Mondal’s achievement”.