TIRUCHY: The Covid-19 pandemic has hampered the recently-introduced National Literacy Mission’s adult literacy programme too, but that did not hinder the learning for 65-year-old Dhanabakiyam Ammal in Tiruchy.
Visiting even a school headmistress for classes when learning centres that imparted the programme were forced to shut down during the second wave, the elderly woman who has never received formal education is now the cynosure of all eyes with videos of her learning going viral. The disruption in learning due to the second wave of Covid pandemic could not stop the Kothamangalam from pursuing learning.
Kothamangalam government elementary school headmistress Chitra Rani, from whom Dhanabakiyam took regular classes, said, “Unlike many others, Dhanabakiyam was very keen. She has retired from her employment as an Anganwadi worker. She used to place her thumb impression to get her pension and said she always wanted to sign her name one day. When we invited her to join the literacy programme, she showed great interest.”
Tiruchy Chief Education Officer (CEO) R Arivazhagan, District Education Officers of Tiruchy and Manapparai, Vivekanandan and Vivekanandan respectively, along with Manikandam Block Education Officer recently paid her a visit and appreciating her. While Dhanabakiyam said she always wanted to learn, she couldn’t find time. As she got old, she thought it was too late. However, when the headmistress approached her, she said she jumped at the opportunity.