Published: 04th March 2020
Kerala's Bhageerathi Amma and Karthiyani Amma chosen for the Nari Shakti Puraskar
The women earned great acclaim for successfully completing the Kerala Literacy Mission's equivalency exam and setting an example for others despite their age
At the age of 105, Bhageerathi Amma, who had seen many hardships in her life from a very young age, would have never imagined that the decision to restart her studies at this age would bring her so many accolades. From making the news headlines after attempting the class 4 equivalency literacy exam to being acknowledged by the Prime Minister in his radio programme, now Bhageerathi Amma has been chosen for the 'Nari Shakti Puraskar-2019'.
Along with her, 98-year-old Karthiyani Amma, a fellow equivalency learner from Alappuzha, who topped the literacy examination in 2018, has also been bestowed with this year's award. President Ramnath Kovind is expected to confer the award to them on March 8, International Women's Day, at a function in New Delhi. The award is touted as the government of India's highest civilian honour for women awarded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The Nari Shakti Puraskar, given annually to individuals, groups, institutions in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of women empowerment. The award carries Rs 1 lakh and a citation. Bhageerathi Amma, hailing from Kollam after attempting the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority's (KSLMA) fourth equivalency examination became the oldest equivalency learner in the state. She scored 75 per cent in her exams. She has 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Karthiyani Amma, who surprised everyone by topping the literacy examination conducted by KSLMA by scoring 98 out of 100 in 2018, was selected as the 'Commonwealth of Learning Goodwill Ambassador'. Karthiyani Amma, who hails from Haripad in Alappuzha district, was the oldest among the 43,330 candidates who appeared for the 'Aksharalaksham' test, a fourth standard equivalent examination, in 2018.