Bhageerathi Amma, 105, had to give up her dream of getting an education at the age of eight after her mother passed away and she had to take care of her younger siblings.
She suffered another blow when she lost her husband in her 30s, following which the entire responsibility of nurturing her six children fell on her shoulders.
As fate would have it, she finally appeared for the fourth standard "equivalency exam" at the ripe old age of 105 on Tuesday, thanks to her own undimmed interest in learning and the Kerala State Literacy Mission’s determination to encourage everyone.
“Though she is past 100, her eyesight, hearing and memory remain sharp. She just had difficulty in writing, she took three days to complete the three question papers and was helped by her youngest daughter,” the Mission Director, P.S. Srikala, said.
Amma took up the examination at her home in Kollam, about 43 miles from the capital of Kerala and became the oldest "equivalency learner" in the Kerala State Literacy Mission programme to date.