World's oldest student no more: Kerala's Bhageerathi Amma passes away at 107

She wanted to successfully pass the 7th standard equivalency exam and then appear for the 10th standard examination.

Published: 23rd July 2021 12:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2021 12:39 PM   |  A+A-

Bhageerathi Amma. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bhageerathi Amma, arguably the world's oldest student and recipient of Bharatanareeshakthi award has passed away. She was 107. 

A native of Prakulam in Kollam, Bhageerathi Amma has been the poster girl for literacy and continuing education activities for the State Literacy Mission, what with her passion to learn more at her advancing age. Bhageerathi Amma leaves with two unfulfilled dreams.

She wanted to successfully pass the 7th standard equivalency exam and then appear for the 10th standard examination. The other dream of hers was to talk to actor Suresh Gopi in person. She passed away on Thursday at 11.55 pm.

The Prime Minister had openly praised Bhageerathi Amma when she passed the Class IV Equivalency Examination with 75% marks and achieved 100% marks in the Maths Examination in the 'Mann Ki Bath' programme.  

SN Shirley, daughter of Bhageerathi Amma's close friend and neighbour Sharada was teaching her all this while. Her youngest daughter Thankamani Pillai, also stood by her.  Even the whole of Thrikkaruva panchayat was with her, supporting and encouraging her endeavour to learn more. Shirley had been training Bhageerathi Amma for the seventh-grade equivalency test. However, for the past few months, she has been showing signs of extreme tiredness and was sick.

Bhageerathi Amma is the wife of the late Raghavan Pillai. She is survived by her children Patmakshi Amma, Thulaseedharan Pillai, Somanathan Pillai, Ammini Amma and Thankamani A Pillai. Her daughter Krishnamma predeceased her.


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