Three generations of a family sat for the Aksharasree literacy examinations of the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority in the Vattiyurkavu Assembly segment on Sunday.
Eighty-year-old Paru, her daughter Ragini, and her granddaughter Rajini all appeared for the examination, held as Mikavutsavam, at the city Corporations primary health centre at Puthenpalam, Kannammoola.
Though ill-health had prevented Paru from attending all the Aksharasree literacy classes, her enthusiasm was unflagging. That was also why she was a tad dispirited by how she fared in the Maths examination, particularly when she heard Rajini say she had a smooth sailing.
Thirty-three-year-old Rajini says it was a thrilling experience to attend the classes with her mother and grandmother.
Paru had not studied at all, while Ragini had gone to school till class 1.
Rajini too had not fared better. So, when she broached the subject of the literacy classes, her mother and grandmother did not demur; all were acutely aware of the shortcomings in life caused by lack of education. Rajini, in fact, attended the classes and sat for the examination with her two-year-old daughter in her lap.
Yamuna Y., ward coordinator, says the three women either came to attend the classes at the community hall in the area in the evening or if unable to do so, they would meet in someones home to study.
Paru was plagued by poor eyesight and hearing, not to mention ill-health, but Yamuna is hopeful she will clear the literacy exam. Rajini and Ragini have set their eyes on the class 4 equivalency course.
In all, 35 people from Padmanabhan Nagar, Puthenpalam, appeared for the examination.
There were other mother-daughter duos among the examinees.
Literacy Mission Director P.S. Sreekala inaugurated the examination by handing over the examination paper to 56-year-old Ushakumari.
The oldest among the examinees was 91-year-old Lakshmi who appeared for the examination at PTP Nagar.The youngest 26-year-old Jiji from Kanjirampara.
As many as 697 sat for the examination, held in 24 wards of the Vattiyurkavu Assembly segment.
Aksharasree is held in association with the City Corporation.
A survey conducted last year as part of Aksharasree had revealed 11,764 illiterates in the city, a majority of them women.
The literacy, class 4, class 7, and class 10 equivalency classes held as part of Aksharasree include only women learners.