By Chandni Shah
Most mornings, news of women doing unlikely things makes me happy. This has been a very good morning with when I read that Karthiyani Amma decided to write the literacy exam conducted by the Kerala State Literacy Mission on 5th August 2018. So what? Just that Karthiyani Amma is 96. And in case you wondered, the Marvellous Ms K, who hails from the Haripad in Alappuzha, scored full in the reading part of her examination.
Kerala’s literacy mission, aka Aksharalaksham, was launched by the government on 26th January 2018 to achieve its beloved 100% literacy in the state again. The exam had almost 40,000 candidates 29,500 were women. A full 73% cent of the candidates were women, consisting of housewives, labourers and farmers, the women outnumbered the men, as The Hindu reported. Also enrolled were inmates from various prisons.
Karthiyani Amma was the oldest of the candidates, and out of three sections- reading, writing and simple mathematics, got full in reading. Karthiyani Amma, this would have been the moment of a lifetime. Kerala has had a long history of being one of the few states in India that has a high literacy rate and sex ratio. The state has 1084 females per 1000 males, while the overall sex ratio of the country is 940 females per 1000 males. The literacy rate of the state is 93.91% while the overall Literacy rate in India is 70.04%. It’s amazing to see that officials in Kerala still seem to think that 94% isn’t enough and want 100%.
All I can say here is Lage Rago Karthiyani Amma. I shall hope that 6 years from now, I find news that you have passed the equivalent of Class 10 exams as well.