When we say school, we usually imagine it filled with young children, ranging from ages of as young as 5 to barely on the cusp of adulthood at 18 year old.
However, when you have as large a population as India, with its almost reaching 1.3 billion people, paired with low income population, large spread illiteracy and gender discrimination when it comes to education, then only a small portion of that population actually gets decent and quality education.
And even in that, the divide between rural and urban schools and what and how they teach their students is something that almost everyone is aware of anyways.
Although times are slowly changing and some measures are being taken to upgrade and modernize the rural schools, it has still left behind the senior population that was not able to avail all these facilities.
That is why, it is extremely good to hear of this special school for grannies that is soon going to be completing their first year in operation.
Aajibaichi School is the name of this school for grannies and is located in the Thane district of Maharashtra.
The school came into being on Women’s Day last year, that is, 8th March 2016 and since then has not only increased its student size but this year will also be moving to a bigger plot.
What Exactly Does This School For Grannies Do?
So basically, this school was founded by a local teacher and activist called Yogendra Bangar in association with the Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust, who also donated the uniform for the senior women, the pink saris and bag to hold their books and supplies in.
Bangar does not accept any donations and buys all the supplies and equipment with his own money for his senior students.
At the time, the school with a headcount of just 30 or so grannies has only 1 teacher, Shital More.
The school right now is focusing on just the basics, like teaching them to read, write and understand simple Marathi, along with basic mathematics.
The idea for such a school came to Bangar after a senior woman said to him that she wished to be able to read her holy books.
Why This Is An Important Initiative?
Although the need to educate our senior population is not new, but the initiatives towards it have been minimal and to my knowledge restricted to the metro cities.
Such a school in the village and rural areas is much welcome as it is another way to not just empower our senior but also female population.
These women, knowing our country, must have either been pulled out of school or not even allowed to go in the first place due to a number of reasons like, lack of funds, the person being a girl and such.
Afterwards marriage and kids along with strict rules imposed on females in rural areas, must have limited her to just the kitchen.
Now as senior women, these grannies have the opportunity to finally learn a little and be able to become just slightly self reliant.
Image Credits: Google Images