Topping exams at 96, this nonagenarian wants to pass SSLC before touching 100

Sarada M

Alappuzha, Nov 1:
The 96-year old Karthyayani Amma is on cloud nine. For, she had passed the ‘Aksharalaksham’ literacy examination conducted by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority in August with first rank; scoring 98 marks out of 100. Hailing from Cheppad, Haripad in Alappuzha district of Kerala, the nonagenarian has now qualified to enter the class IV equivalency course.

“It is my long cherished dream to pass 10th before me reaching 100 years of age. I want to read, write and chat over the many happenings across the world,” says the toothless granny with a warm smile.

Karthyayani Amma (left) writes ‘Aksharalaksham’ literacy examination at a school

Karthyayani Amma with children

She scored 38 out of 40 in writing, and full marks in reading and Mathematics. Karthyayani Amma began to dust off her ambition when the literacy mission workers visited her house in January this year under the Aksharalaksham programme, which targets complete literacy. “When she told us about her wish, we thought she was kidding. But the following months proved her commitment to studies. She inspired many septuagenarians and octogenarians to the class,” says literacy mission local Prerak (teacher) K Sati. She studied for six months before attending the exam in August at Haripad Muttam Kanichanellur L P School. “After the exam, Karthyayani Amma ran to me and lamented that all that studied was not asked for the examination,” recalls Sati.

Daughter was the inspiration

Amma hogged limelight as the most aged person attending the examination and vernacular daily, ‘Malayala Manorama’ carried a heart-warming photo where 88-year old Ramachandran, who sat near to Amma at examination hall looking at her answer sheet apparently a copying attempt. Karthyayani Amma has never gone to school as she had to eke out a hard life doing domestic chores at neighbouring houses and sweeper job at a local temple. She got inspired from her 51-year old daughter Amminiyamma, who passed 10th equivalent exam through Literacy programme.

“I was a school dropout. Later, I continued studies attending continuing education classes and passed the 10th equivalent. Amma was inspired by that and plunged to join classes never minding her age. After enrolling in class, she used to read and write at home, even after her grandchildren closed their books and signed off to bed,” says Amminiyamma. “And what are your future plans, Amma,” asks Amminiyamma to Karthyayani Amma and pat came the reply,” I want to study English and then computer. But before that, I want to pass 10th with cent per cent marks”. Karthyanani Amma doesn’t need spectacles even at this ripe age and she has a fantastic memory power. “I used to wake up 4 am daily, whatever climate it may be,” she says.


According to Kerala State Literacy Mission Director Dr P S Sreekala, 43,330 had attended the examination of which 99.08 per cent got through. “Of this, 37,166 are women. As many as 8,215 are from scheduled caste and 2,882 from scheduled tribe community,” she said. Among districts, Palakkad toped in the number of winning students, 10,866. State literacy mission has identified 47,241 illiterates in the state which triggered the launching of Aksharalaksham. Karthyayani Amma received the certificate from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on November 1 in Thiruvananthapuram.

Team StoryInfinity for Daijiworld


Comment on this article

  • Abubakkar Siddik / AS, Thekkar Updy / Riyadh

    Sat, Nov 3 2018

    There is no age for learning. A person can gain education and knowledge at any age. If someone have the intention and the dedication to learn then he/she can achieve their goal.

    Each and every human is born with a right to be educated irrespective of his or her age. study is a thing which can be done without no age limit independently. For learning there is no age.

    Best thing to earn / gain are knowledge / education; knowledge is more valuable than money.

    She inspires me!

    Thanks to Daijiworld.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Fri, Nov 2 2018

    MODI and Irani should learn from her how to gracefully attend the exam and earn the certificate

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Nov 2 2018

    No wonder Kerala is 100% Literate ...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sofia, Dubai

    Thu, Nov 1 2018

    What an inspiration!! Hope more follow her footsteps. A good read. Made my day!!

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valson Mendonsa, Mangalore/USA

    Thu, Nov 1 2018

    Really GREAT Woman !!! Itz Not all about passing the Exam.. I LIKED in this > itz all about the GOAL she had.. that made her success in exam.

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Thu, Nov 1 2018

    Great woman. When I look at this woman I remember my mother who is in care Centre she is 93. She was healthy she is free from any sickness. But now she is motionless. This is because of the negligence of her own children. She was not fed properly.. totally she was abandoned on a wheel chair inside the toilet.. if she was looked after in a nice way my mother also would have been healthy like this woman..

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany.

    Fri, Nov 2 2018

    @Joseph mangalore kuwait,did I read that you wrote her children?About your mother ?.when we read of this grand great lady,she does good and has high aims.Hope she will reach her goal ,live healthy and happy.May God give her good we have such programms in mangalore for seniors?I am sure many may be wishing to learn to read and write.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Narain, Mangaluru

    Thu, Nov 1 2018

    wow..such josh in life.

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse


Title : Topping exams at 96, this nonagenarian wants to pass SSLC before touching 100


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