THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Eighty-three-year-old K Subhadra is well accustomed to her routine by now. Her day starts as early as 5 am. She spends her time rereading the lesson learnt the previous day. At other times, she sneaks into the tuition classes her 21-year-old grandchild, Greeshma, takes back home. This is in addition to the regular classes she has enrolled herself in as part of the basic literacy course of the Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM).
“It is difficult remembering lessons. I am very keen on learning as much as I can. But the trouble is my failing memory. I keep learning and forgetting the lessons learnt,” says the resident of Thrikkannapuram.
Born in a family of five, Subhadra was the youngest. Although her siblings could complete education till Class X, the environment wasn’t favourable when her turn came. So she didn’t go to school. But she knew the basics of the vernacular language.
She ensured that her children would not have to go through her plight. So they went to school and finished their studies. One completed his degree while the other could complete Class X.
And now, Subhadra believes it is her turn to study.
“I learnt about this course they were conducting. It was interesting. And so I joined,” says Subhadra. “I want to study as much as I can. It is very exciting,” she says, minutes before sitting for the formal exam of the basic equivalency course.
Her daughter-in-law Bindu, who is an instructor herself, tells how Subhadra diligently goes through the lessons daily. “Greeshma, my daughter, takes tuition at home. Despite bombarding me and my daughter with her queries, Amma (mother) also sits in her class,” she chuckles. “She is very ahead in the lessons. She even reads through the Class VII text. The only trouble is her memory,” says Mercy, class coordinator.
Subhadra was among the students who appeared for the test held as part of the ‘Aksharashree’ course. Subhadra, along with other learners, sat for the exam at the KC Abraham Memorial Union Library in Thrikkannapuram. “I want to keep learning,” she adds.