Widows, Some Aged 90, Start School Near Mumbai, Families Drop Them Off
“Thane, Maharashtra: They wear uniforms, carry satchels and eagerly recite the alphabet in class, but the students here are different — this is a ‘school for grannies’ near Mumbai.
Deprived of an education as children, the women — most of whom are widows and aged between 60 and 90 — are finally fulfilling a life-long dream to become literate.
‘I never went to school as a child. It feels great to come now and study with my friends. We have so much fun,’ 62-year-old Gulab Kedar tells news agency AFP, beaming with pleasure. She along with the rest of the class wear matching pink saris.
The school, which marks its first anniversary on International Women’s Day on Wednesday, is challenging traditional attitudes and helping its women shed the stigma of illiteracy.
Every day, 29 pupils take the short walk from their homes in Phangane village, in the Thane district of Maharashtra, to Aajibaichi Shala, meaning ‘school for grannies’ in Marathi.”