Never too old to learn

Unique school for grandmothers promotes basic literacy in a small community near Mumbai.

Twenty-nine grandmothers aged between 55 and 90 years old are enrolled in the special school in Fagane in Maharashtra. Narendra Kaushik

Jnabai, 85, loves doing what her youngest grandchild was doing around a decade ago -- learning the alphabet of her Marathi language by repeating the letters as the teacher reads them out.

She is proud that after a year of studying, she can recognise the alphabet, sign her name on a slate and haltingly read books on Swami Samarth, an early 19th century saint who is revered across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh states.

Jnabai is one of the success stories from the school for grandmothers, the only one of its kind in India, in Thane district adjoining Mumbai. She is a classmate of Hoshabai, another woman in her eighties who attends with her daughter Indu Vithal Pawar, 55.

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