Subhadramma, 83, of Thrikannapuram gets up around 4 a.m. every day, does a bit of walking and exercise inside the house, has her bath, and then sits down to study the textbook provided as part of the Aksharasree literacy programme.
She reads the Ramayana and the newspaper too,says Bindu, her daughter-in-law. Bindu, who is doing her higher secondary equivalency, says Subhadramma was a bit reluctant about attending literacy classes, but all that changed in no time. She is very diligent about writing and practising English, Hindi, and Maths.
Subhadramma goes to Bindus daughter to clear doubts. In the evening, she prays, watches TV, and then studies some more before retiring. Bindu says Subhadrammas only regret is that she forgets what she has studied, and so needs to go over what she has studied.
She could not study owing to the familys circumstances then. She was the eldest and worked in homes and a shop to take care of her siblings, says Bindu.
Besides Subhadramma, four other octogenarians will also appear for the examination for the Aksharasree literacy programme, being implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority and the city Corporation, on Sunday. They are Sumathi Amma, 85, from Punchakkari; Dharani, 85 from Kulathur; Kamalamma, 83, from Thiruvallam; and Sarada, 82, of Aarannoor. Thaslima of Perunthanni is the youngest of the learners at 21.
The exam will be in the form of Mikavutsavam, in a departure from the usual literacy exams. About 2,107 learners from 74 Corporation wards will sit for the exam. The 697 learners in 26 wards in the Vattiyurkavu constitueny will appear for Mikavutsavam later.