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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Tamil Nadu woman proves age is just a number; tops State exam at the age of 108

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When it was revealed that a 108-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu (TN) won the state of Kerala’s literacy campaign, many people were shocked. In her early years, Kamalakanni, who supposedly was born in 1915 in Cumbum in the Theni region of Tamil Nadu, started working in Kerala (neighbouring state) in the cardamom field.

According to a study conducted by the NSO (National Statistical Office), Kerala has India’s highest literacy rate, which is 96.2%. In order to assist older folks in acquiring educational knowledge, the Kerala government has established a programme under the Education initiative with the slogan “Education for All and Always.”

Similar to the “Arivoli Iyakkam” (mass literacy campaign) that was carried out in Tamil Nadu, the Sampoornam Shastra literacy initiative in Kerala teaches education to the elderly with the intention of imparting information and on the assumption that the old should “sign their names”.

While this project co-educates interested senior individuals, the 108-year-old Kamalakanni, who relocated from Tamil Nadu’s Theni to work on the cardamom plantation in Kerala, is gaining an education.

Kamalakanni started working on a cardamom plantation to assist her struggling family after graduating from second grade and relocating to the Vandanmedu area, which is primarily populated by Tamil people and located precisely at the boundary between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Due to Kerala’s abundance of cardamom fields, labourers from Tamil Nadu began to migrate there in large numbers to work. In this way, Kamalakanni had worked in the cardamom fields for the past 80 years of her life. She couldn’t finish school since she had to work on the farm all the time.

This 108-year-old woman has joined in Kerala’s literacy initiative and begun learning. She has good hearing and eyesight. Many people are applauding Kamalakanni as a model for the initiative.

Furthermore, even at a very advanced age, her commitment to study has earned her praise. She eventually began writing in both Tamil and Malayalam, and on the exam administered by the Literacy Project, she received a score of 97 out of 100. Many groups in Kerala are appreciative of her determination to take part in the initiative despite her age.

They are the sixth generation to reside in Vandanmedu, according to Kamalakanni’s grandson, and preparations are being made to celebrate their grandmother’s 109th birthday the following month.

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