Meet the 27-year-old disabled woman educating an entire Jharkhand village

Differently-abled daughter of daily wagers saved money and studied, and is now making fellow villagers literate, reports Mukesh Ranjan.

Published: 10th October 2021 09:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

(Extreme right) Kalawati Kumari with some of the villagers she has educated.

(Extreme right) Kalawati Kumari with some of the villagers she has educated.

JHARKHAND:  Kalawati Kumari, 27, of Silafari village in Gumla can’t walk, but her morale is high. She never attended school due to her disability and poor financial condition, but managed to clear Class 10 and 12 exams while working as a labourer. Armed with the basic education qualifications, she decided to join the state government’s literacy campaign with the aim to make everyone in her village literate. At present, she has managed to make nearly 80 people in the village literate. She continues to give free classes to villagers even after the campaign was discontinued in 2018.

Kumari first began her efforts at home, by educating both of them. Her parents were daily wage labourers at a brick kiln and would take her along with them to work. Later, she started taking up menial jobs, and used the money to fund her education. “In 2014, I directly appeared for Class 10 boards after preparing at home, and used the money that I had collected by working as a daily wager,” says Kumari.

A woman from a nearby village called Navina Sahu inspired her to join the literacy campaign, following which she started preparing for Class 10 exams with Sahu’s help. “While preparing for Class 10 exams, I started teaching my illiterate parents and within a couple of months, made them literate. This was a game-changer. It made me confident enough to start teaching about 10 other people of my village,” says Kumari, who went on to pass Class 12 exams in the first attempt.

“After I joined the state literacy campaign, I started making more and more people literate. Today, I can say proudly that there is not a single person in my village is illiterate. Personally, I have made over 80 villagers literate,” she says with pride.

Seeing her hard work, Sahu, who motivated her to study, helped her to become a motivator. “When I met Kalawati, I observed that she had become hopeless about her life. Besides being disabled, she was also illiterate. So, I started inspiring her by saying that everything is possible in this world,” said Sahu, who was attached as a motivator with the literacy campaign. She gave Kumari a song written on literacy, which she not only memorised, but sang well, and gradually adopted in her own life, she added. “Then, I suggested that she study, following which she started preparing for the exams. Looking at her hard work, I advised her to become a volunteer teacher, which she readily accepted,” says Navina Sahu.

Later, she set up an example for others by clearing her Classes 10 and 12 exams and making literate to others, she added. Dilip Kumar Sahu from Kumari’s village, talks about her as a shining example of a woman with so little who managed to touch so many lives. “Kalawati is disabled since her childhood. Her parents used to work as daily wagers in a brick kiln. Somehow, she managed to educate herself by taking help of the villagers and made the entire village literate with her hard work and dedication,” he says.

Current status
Kumari has made nearly 80 people in the village literate. She continues to give free classes to villagers even after the campaign was discontinued in 2018.


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