They say age is just a number. This goes for anything, even learning and being literate.
This has hence been proven on account of Aajibaichi Shala, a school for senior citizens in India.
Women aged 60 and more are involved in how to read and write in this progressive school.
How did it all start?
Situated in the remote Phangane town of the Thane locale in Maharashtra, Aajibaichi Shala is the first and one of its kind school for non-proficient women in India.
The school’s essential objective is to instruct elderly women who never got a chance to think about in view of outdated generalizations towards women.
Established in 2016 on International Women’s Day (March 8), the brains behind this novel activity are Yogendra Bangar (a teacher and an activist) and the Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust.
Set up in two rooms in a nearby rancher’s home, the school stays open for just two hours every day, from 2 to 4 pm. And presently, there are 29 students.
Wearing pink saris as uniforms, alongside their school backpacks on their shoulders, they leave to go to class, with full eagerness.
The school day begins with a gathering, which goes on for around 10 minutes that includes praying to Sharada Vandana, the goddess of knowledge.
After the assembly is done, the real class begins, where they learn math tables, the alphabets and painting, and nursery rhymes.
Much the same as some other schools, homework and unit tests are also a piece of the educational programs.
They enjoy cultivating and gardening. The school has a garden space, where each student needs to plant a sapling and deal with the plant.
Each plant has a number and the name of the student responsible to take care of it.
A portion of the women experience the ill effects of hearing issues, while others have feeble visual perception, however, this hasn’t discouraged them from following their path to being literate.
Their undying wish is to have the capacity to sign their own particular names when saving money and amid different exchanges and they are striving to satisfy this desire.
These amazing women have demonstrated an unbelievable level of assurance and boldness by venturing out of the house and figuring out how to read and write at an age when others like to relax and rest.
Aajibaichi Shala has brought another sign of hope for the people of the town.
Educating these women has helped in bringing issues to light about cleanliness, sanitation, and medicinal services, and today, the town is free of open excretion.
Initially, the program only accepted women. But now, they have also started welcoming elderly men seeking an education with an open arm.
The students of Aajibaichi are, truth be told, leading to a major change in their town and in the nation on the loose. A change that comes only with education.