Crossing all the barriers of old age, poor eye sight, and other ailments a group of elderly women from Kerala has joined Aksharasagaram Literacy Program for improving their literacy levels. These are the women who have never been to school but their volition to learn something new is unmatched. The Aksharasagaram Literacy Program is being implemented in the state by the Kerala Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA) in association with the fisheries department of the state.
Reaction of elderly women
- "I want to study till I breathe my last," 86-year-old Maniyeri Madhaviamma said despite having a poor eye sight.
- Similar determination and sappiness were shown by Biyathumma (81) and 80-year-old Vyakulamma. All three women are among the 3746 candidtes, including men, who took the literacy exam under Aksharasagaram Literacy Program.
- P S Sreekala, KSLMA director said, ''In the first phase, 81 coastal wards from 15 panchayats of Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram and Kasaragod districts were selected for the project.''
- In Muslim dominated area it was like celebration for the women who never had the chance to go through the
process of formal education.
In the initial phase the students are being taught to write and read alphabets along with simple math. In the second phase, English alphabets will be taught to the students along with the other subjects like social studies, Malayalam, basic sciences and English. In third phase Hindi alphabets will be taught.
"My parents never taught me as I was the eldest among my siblings. Despite my old age, I am keen to learn at least to write my name and sign," 77-year-old Kunjamma said.
"The literacy mission inspectors go to their homes, anganwadis or even in the beaches to take classes where they can attend without any inhibition," Prashant said.