BCom at 42; CA at 50; 98% Marks at 73 – The Inspiring Story of Padmavati Hariharan


Madurai’s Padmavati Hariharan cleared BCom at the age of 42. She Became a Chartered Accountant at the age of 50. She scored 98% Marks in Sanskrit Bharti Exam at the age of 73

Education does not have to be at a certain age. This is proven by Madurai native Padmavathi Hariharan. As a child, Padmavati’s dream was to be a degree holder. But Padmavathi who had a passion for learning was married off at the age of 17. Years passed. She was busy with her family life. But her old dream was still alive in her. When she got a chance, she took BCom at the age of 42 with a distant education.

Seeing her passion for learning, Chartered Accountant C.V.S. Mani guided her to learn CA. The path of being a Chartered Accountant is extremely difficult for even youngsters. That is why a homemaker of 42, Padmavati, hesitated to try CA. Looking at her hesitation C.V.S Mani encouraged her to join MCom but try for CA simultaneously. In the end, she started her course in Chartered Accounting at the age of 45. When she passed out, she was 50. 

She cleared all the exceptionally difficult exam papers of Chartered Accounting in the first chance itself. This is while she had the responsibilities of home and three children upon her. She recalls that she used to study even while working in the kitchen. For that, she used to write notes and mathematical formulas on the wall of the house. So even when she was walking inside the house, her learning did not stop. Padmavati recalls that she used to lock the house and study to avoid disturbance from neighbours.

Another challenge was studying MCom and CA simultaneously. At times, she has had to write the exams of MCom and CA on the same day itself. Sometimes when guests visit home, she has to cook for them before rushing to the exam hall. She was also an active member of the neighbourhood music group. She found time for them along with her studies. Padmavati says that she was able to achieve this because of the support from her husband. She was an inspiration for her younger son who also took CA as his career path.

Now Padmavati is leading a retired life in Madurai. At age 73, Padmavati passed the Sanskrit Bharati exam with a 98% mark. She is proof that age is just a number when it comes to the process of learning. Learning can happen at any age. Her message to the younger generation is to “stay put and pursue your dream with passion, dedication, and perseverance. You are bound to succeed. Try, try, try and try again…”

-Staff Reporter

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