In 2019, Bhagheerathi proved to the world that age is no barrier when it comes to accomplishing something. At 105, she returned to studies and passed her literacy exam, earning the praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Thursday, July 22, she breathed her last at her house due to age-related ailments.
A resident of Prakkulam in Kollam district of Kerala, she was was a recipient of the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar by the Central government for her exceptional contribution towards women's empowerment. In 2019, she scripted history by becoming the oldest student to clearing the fourth standard equivalency examination conducted by the state-run Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) and came out with flying colours scoring 205 out of of a total of 275 marks (75 per cent) and full marks in maths, reported The Week.
Family Responsibilities Prevented Her From Studying Further
Though she yearned to study more, she had to quit in class 3 as her mother passed away and she had to take on the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings. When she was 15, she was married and once again the responsibilities of a homemaker kept her away from her studies. But she returned to it after nearly a century gap in 2019 and cleared her papers with good grades as a 105-year-old student.
While narrating the story of Bhagheerati Amma, Modi had said in his radio address last year that, "If we wish to progress in life, we should develop ourselves, if we wish to achieve something in life, the first pre-condition for that is the student within us must never die."