A school where the age for enrolment has to be minimum 55 years? Yes, you read it right.
This is a school for the non-literate grandmothers – Ajibaichi Shala. Located 130 kms away from Mumbai in Fanage village, Maharashtra. It was started in 2016 on the International Women’s Day by Yogendra Bangar (an activist and local Zila Parishad teacher) and the Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust.
The school was launched to empower the non-literate elderly women, so that they can learn to write and sign with confidence. Since a lot of them are widows Bangar decided pink as the appropriate colour for the uniform as most widows don’t wear green.
It is an open-air classroom under a shade—that houses nothing but dhurries and an alphabet chart. The school runs every Sunday, from 2 to 4 pm. The age needed to enroll – 55 to 90 years.
This is such a wonderful initiative where elderly women, who never had the opportunity to learn are now finally able to read and write at least the basics. All of them have one desire in common – to write their names on documents/cheques instead of making a thumb impression.