This Indian achieved his dream at the age of 104 by learning to read and write

It’s a dream come true for the 104-year-old Indian woman, who scored 89 out of 100 on the official literacy exam she took last November in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

“I’ve always wanted to know what’s going on in the world,” said Kuttiyama, in the column Guardian. “Many times I regret my inability to read the newspaper, and I always ask the younger generation at home to read the news to me.”

For nearly a century, Kuttiyama maintained the same routine of getting up early to cook, clean, and feed the livestock. Thus, the centenarian recounted that he came from the old Ezhava community, and was “born in the midst of poverty”. At that time, it was still unimaginable for young girls to attend school. From an early age, Kuttiyama studied housework with his eleven siblings.

Married at 16, and a mother of five, Kuttiyama is content with her life, but as she testifies, “she always felt like something was missing.” When he saw his grandchildren doing their homework, he became interested in learning the alphabet. And a year ago, her neighbor who is also a teacher had noticed the 104-year-old Indian girl’s curiosity. He then offered some books.

new exam

This is how Kuttiyama started the evening classes. After a few months, the grandmother decided it was time to take the literacy exam. And the result didn’t go unnoticed, as it sparked the interest of the state’s education minister, Vasudevan Sivankutty, who congratulated him on Twitter.

Today, Kuttiyama can inform himself, and his daily life is now punctuated by “two hours of reading the newspaper”. Motivated and determined, he doesn’t want to stop there, however, and has shown that he is aiming for the Standard 4 exam, which represents the CM1 level in France.

He had to study in addition to Malayalam, Kerala Indian dialect, English, mathematics and the environment. And learning a new language doesn’t seem to deter Kuttiyama, who “didn’t find English difficult”.

Cheryl Tenny

"Thinker. Food advocate. Incurable coffee enthusiast. Communicator. Proud student. Zombie buff. Tv fanatic. Extreme troublemaker."

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