92-year-old Indian Great Grandmother Goes To School, Inspires Other Women

92-year-old Indian Great Grandmother Goes To School, Inspires Other Women

10 months ago
1 min read

By Mercy Johnson


An Indian great-grandmother aged 92 has defied societal stereotypes and embarked on actively pursuing her life-long dream of learning to read and write, inspiring others to join her.

Salima Khan, born around 1931 and married at the age of 14, two years before the end of British Colonial rule in India, had always had the dream of being able to read and write but said her village had no schools when she was a young girl. Khan hails from Bulandshahr in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

She started pursuing her dream six months ago as she began studying alongside pupils eight decades younger than her. She is usually accompanied by her grandson’s wife on her way to class.
Her story hit the public after a video of her counting from one to 100 went viral on social media.

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“My grandchildren used to trick me into giving them extra money as I couldn’t count currency notes,” she said to the Times of India. “Those days are gone.”

Local education officer, Lakshimi Pandey, while speaking to AFP affirmed that Khan’s story reinforces the belief that the pursuit of knowledge is not limited by age. He said that volunteers from a government education initiative had discovered Khan and motivated her to go to school.

Despite the teachers being initially hesitant about teaching Khan, they couldn’t refuse her due to her passion for studying, Pratibha Sharma, the school headmistress said.

Khan’s passion and active pursuit of her dream have inspired 25 women from her village, who also started literacy classes including her two daughters-in-law, Sharma affirmed.

Khan’s story isn’t the first of its kind as there have been records of inspiring people who started education at an old age such as Ma Xiuxian of China who started her first school class at the age of 102, and Kimani Maruge of Kenya who started his elementary education at the age of 84, and was recognised by Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person to start elementary education and even obtained the position of the Head boy of the school.


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