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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: For 80-year-old former MP, Narayan Sahu, age is just a number. It is evident from the fact that the octogenarian is still a student, staying at the Utkal University hostel to get his PhD degree.

The two-time MLA from Pallahara, who was also an MP from Deogarh in 1980, resides in Room no-24 of Nilakantha Hostel at Utkal University.

Despite achieving success in his political career, Sahu chose to quit as he felt that principles are slowly fading away from politics. That's why he decided to spend the last phase of his life as a student.

"No rules, regulations and principles are followed in politics, so I decided to quit. It was the happiest day of my life when I got admission at Utkal University," Sahu said.

In 1963, Sahu graduated in Economics from Ravenshaw University.

But his zeal to pursue higher studies turned him into a student once again after 46 years. In 2009, he started pursuing his post-graduation at Utkal University and completed it in 2011. Subsequently, in 2012, he pursued M.Phil in Philosophy.

Sahu had not been able to complete his higher education as he belonged to a backward region of Odisha where only a few get chance to go for higher studies.

"As I belong to a backward region, I don't want the next generations to suffer. So I advise them to refrain from involving in corrupt practices," the 80-year-old said.

With his great sense of humour and ability to mingle with young students of the hostel, the octogenarian has managed to create a special place among the hostel students.

Also Read: Living in the dark: Electricity still eludes this Odisha village

"The way he mingles with us, he never makes us feel that there is a huge age gap. He acts like a friend as well as a guardian," a student said.

Even administrative officials of Utkal University think that Sahu is setting an example for the students of the university.

"Sahu always guides the young students with his unique personality. We thank him for gelling with us by staying at the hostel as a student," Director of CDC at Utkal University, Santosh Tripathy, said.

In his free time, Sahu also works on his auto-biography.

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