AIZAWL, April 5: Lalringthara, a 73-year-old man in New Hruaikawn village in eastern Mizoram’s Champhai district, is a living proof that it is never too late to learn. The septuagenarian has just been enrolled in the village’s only middle school in the 5th standard to fulfil his lifetime desire to go back to school. Vanlalkima, the headmaster (incharge) of the government-run school, said Lalringthara has a great passion for learning. He is always thirsty for knowledge, to learn something new. Last year, he had applied for admission. I told him to wait for the new session, he said. He is an inspiration and a challenge to both students and teachers alike. I am happy to be able to help him fulfil his dreams, Vanlalkima added. 

Born in 1945 at Khuangleng village near the Indo-Myanmar border, Lalringthara could not continue his education after Class II as his father passed away when he was just two years of age. Having no sibling, he had to help his mother in the jhum fields right from a tender age. After moving from one place to another, Lalringthara finally settled at New Hruaikawn village in 1995. He has been working as chowkidar in the local Presbyterian church to earn his living. Lalringthara can read and write in the Mizo language. He has read the Old Testament 14 times and the New Testament 16 times. I have no problem in reading and writing in the Mizo language. One of my motives for going back to school is to learn some English so that I can write an application in English and understand the English news on television, he said. Lalringthara sits in the classroom with other children who are more than 60 years younger than him. He will be provided with school uniform and textbooks soon. 

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