Draped in a pink lugda (saree) as a uniform and a backpack on the shoulders, 60 and above grandmothers walk down to their school every morning excited about what new they are going to learn that day.
With the aim of reaching 100% literacy, this village has started a school - ‘Aajibaichi Shala’ (Grandmothers’ School), for its uneducated grandmothers.
The pioneer of this initiative is Yogendra Bangar, 45, who collaborated with the Motiram Charitable Trust, which has provided a blackboard for the classroom, besides helping the women with all the necessary logistics including a pink sari uniform, a school bag, a slate and chalk pencils.
Kanta More, 60 told Indian Express that,
“Initially I was shy and hesitant, but when I came to know that women of my age and above were joining the Shala, I went ahead with the decision. Now I can read and write in my language. I have understood the importance of education. It gives you self-esteem. Earlier, I had to put my thumb impression on bank documents, but now I can sign them myself. I don’t need anyone else’s help,” she said.
87-year-old student Ramabai Ganpat Chandelle told, “I am like a ripe fruit that might fall off the branch anytime. I couldn’t go to school as a child and remained illiterate all my life. But I don’t want to die illiterate. Now, I am happy that I would be able to carry a few words with me to the other world.”
The idea of opening the school struck Bangar when he observed that nearly all the elderly women are illiterate.
The school was opened on March 8, 2016, on Women’s Day. 27 grannies who are studying there are aged between 60 to 90.
Information source: indianexpress
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