85-year-old tribal woman clears literacy exam in Kerala, proves you are never too old to learn

Along with Kembi, nearly 3000 other candidates in the tribal settlements of Wayanad, Kerala, have cleared the literacy exams conducted by the state agency.

Henry Ford, an industrialist and the Founder of Ford Motor Company, once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

This quote fits quite well with 85-year-old Kembi from Wayanad, Kerala, who recently cleared the Kerala State Literacy Mission's (KSLM) literacy examination.

85-year-old Kembi giving her exam among other tribal candidates (Image: Edex Live)

Hailing from Padachikunnu Colony in Mananthavady, Kembi was the oldest among 2,993 other candidates who took up the exams.

Kembi, along with other candidates, who belong to the tribal settlements of Wayanad, Kerala, cleared the literacy exams conducted by the state agency as well, reports India Today.

Speaking to Edex Live, Kembi, who appeared in the second phase of tribal literacy project, says,

“As a child, I was keen to study. But my parents never let me go to school.”

In her young age, Kembi used to work as a daily wage labourer. However, she never gave up on her interest towards studies. Years later, Kembi found another opportunity to study again when literacy pracharak Claramma VV and instructor Sunitha P approached her.

Sunitha motivated Kembi to write the exam when she and Claramma were campaigning across the state for KSLM's total literacy programme for the tribal people. The programme is conducted in association with the Department of Scheduled Tribes Development.

Speaking about her two sons, who also work as daily wage labourers, Kembi says, “Both of them have gone to school and are literate. So, they would help me revise whatever was taught in the class. My classmates would also help me out.” Kembi now wants to learn computers.

With the recent examination in the state, the total numbers of tribal inmates who passed in the first and second phase organised by KSLM have risen to 7,302.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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