On Friday, at the 26th convocation ceremony of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), a 29-year-old man from Udupi created history by becoming the first convict in the State to receive a degree in the past decade.
Sudhakar Rama Poojary, convicted for murder in 2001 and serving a life sentence at Bangalore Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara here received his Bachelors of Arts (BA) degree from the Vice-Chancellor, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Dr Venkata Rao at the convocation here.
Poojary was hogging the limelight right from the start, as he was escorted by two guards till the end of the programme.
“It gets really depressing inside the prison sometimes and you can’t think of anything else. However, studying was something I took up as a challenge,” Poojary added.
Choosing History, Economics, Political Science and Sociology as his electives in his course, he has already set his eyes on higher goals by enrolling himself for an MA in Public Administration. He will be writing his MA first semester examination in June.
Visibly upset when asked about his crime, Poojary said it was a moment in his life that he was trying hard to forget.
“When he was studying for his BA, he used to ask a lot of questions and continuously inquire about study material. He is someone who was always been keen on learning. In fact, he has turned a teacher to a few inmates who are interested in studies,” said Assistant Regional Director (Examinations), IGNOU, P M Sowjanya.
Poojary said that he is still unsure of his future. “I have no idea what I will do once I am out. I will decide once I am released,” he said.