Kuttiyamma had a dream — and it solely took 104 years to make it come true.
The Kerala, India girl, born right into a low-caste household within the village of Thiruvanchoor, all the time needed to be taught to learn however, with no schooling obtainable, might by no means find out how.
But now, along with her day by day chores, which embrace cooking for her household, Kuttiyama waits for the paperboy to ship the native newspaper so she will devour the information.
“I hailed from Kerala’s backward Ezhava community and was born in the midst of poverty, education for women family members was unthinkable at that time,” Kuttiyama instructed The Guardian. “Even boys discontinued their studies at nine. My parents were landless agricultural laborers.”
During her childhood she cooked, washed clothes and saved the hut for her 11 siblings.
She married at 16, and had 5 youngsters. The household had a small store, the place they bought natural drugs. And she continued to spend her days cooking and doing housekeeping. Kuttiyama mentioned she was completely happy sufficient at residence, however one thing all the time bothered her.
She needed to be taught to learn so she might sustain with the world — or a minimum of write her personal identify and tackle.
“I was always curious about what was happening around the world,” she mentioned. “On many occasions I regretted my inability to read newspapers and I used to plead with the younger generations at home to read out newspapers to me. I always wanted to write my name and address.”
Just one 12 months in the past, a neighbor seen how a lot consideration Kuttiyama gave to her grandchildren’s schooling.
It simply so occurs the neighbor, Rehana John, is a literacy coach.
The 34-year-old gave Kuttiyama some books, and so they started assembly nightly, reviewing the fabric collectively.
“Except for very little vision and hearing problems, she was a perfect and sometimes naughty student who made my teaching feel meaningful,” John instructed The Guardian. “She always has her textbook, notebooks and pens ready before I reach her home. In addition, she will keep extra of the delicacies she has cooked at home to give me.”
John’s solely different scholar even near Kuttiyama’s age was simply 84, she mentioned.
“She is my mother now. We are sharing a rare kind of camaraderie and relationship.”
Kuttiyama studied for months within the evenings and eventually took the Kerala state main literacy examination final month, the oldest girl ever to take it. Her scores have been sky excessive: 89 % in literacy and 100% in arithmetic.
“Age is no barrier for knowledge. With utmost respect and love, I wish Kuttiyamma and all other new learners the best,” the state schooling minister tweeted about her outcomes.
But Kuttiyama isn’t completed.
Her plans embrace acing the fourth commonplace examination, which Indian college students usually go at age 9. This means she must write papers in Malayalam and English and research the atmosphere and extra arithmetic.
“I don’t think English is alien and a hard nut to crack,” mentioned Kuttiyamma. “I’ll attempt to obtain 100% marks within the equivalency examination for all papers.’’
Her trainer mentioned that Kuttiyamma nonetheless takes classes from her day-after-day and refuses to let different members of the family take over her family chores.
“Her passion and commitment are exceptional,” John mentioned.