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104-Year-Old Kerala Woman Fulfils A Dream: Learning To Read

New Delhi: After a lifetime — a lifetime that is well over 100 years — of cooking, cleaning and feeding the cows and chickens, 104-year-old Kuttiyamma’s daily routine has finally seen some change.

If only slightly but for the better.

Now Kuttiyamma, of Thiruvanchoor village in Kerala, eagerly awaits the hawker to deliver Malayala Manorama, the local newspaper, The Guardian reported.

She reads the newspaper for two hours, made possible after she started learning to read in April.

“I was always curious about what was happening around the world,” she said, according to The Guardian report. “On many occasions I regretted my inability to read newspapers and I used to plead with the younger generations at home to read out newspapers to me. I always wanted to write my name and address.”

After months of evening classes, she decided to take the Kerala state primary literacy exam last month, the oldest woman to do so. She achieved 89 per cent in literacy and 100 per cent in mathematics.

She hails from Kerala’s backward Ezhava community and was born into poverty. “Education for women was unthinkable at that time. Even boys discontinued their studies at nine. My parents were landless agricultural labourers and it was my duty to cook food, wash dresses and keep the hut for my 11 siblings,” she said.