What’s in a name? Ask grandmoms taking lessons on writing from kids

  • | Sunday | 3rd December, 2023

GHAZIABAD: Learning has no age and 90-year-old Rahisa bears testimony to this fact as her 13-year-old granddaughter, Kahkasha, transforms into a patient mentor for her grandmother— teaching her the essential skill of writing, mostly a signature at best. The pen is an empowering instrument, so the 90-year-old wants to be able to sign her name while receiving her pension rather than giving a thumbprint.Rahisa is not the only one learning to write.The campaign Mera Naam Mera Pehchaan was launched under Mission Shakti by the chief development officer of Ghaziabad, Abhinav Gopal, at a composite school in Garhi Kataiya, Loni. This initiative is aimed at motivating those who could not afford to get an education and encourages children to impart knowledge and teach their mothers and grandmothers starting with a signature first, said Gopal.Rahisa learned the English alphabet in five days and then wrote her name for the first time in her life with the help of her granddaughter. Its a different feeling to learn from your children, she said. Being able to sign has also given a newfound confidence to Rahisa. Every time I went to receive my pension, the official would laugh at me saying, How can someone, who is eligible to receive money, not even give their thumbprint properly? But now I will proudly show them my signature, said the 90-year-old woman. Dr Rubi Sharma, who heads the school, said that most of these women dont even hear their original names frequently as no one calls them by their names. However, this campaign empowered nearly 500 women in the area to assert their identity by learning how to sign. Elderly to middle-aged women working in factories and construction sites, have signed up to learn how to operate a mobile phone and write sentences in English. Some of these women said that though a mother is the first teacher for her child, here the roles have reversed where the children have become their mothers first teachers. In 33-year-old Soumyas case, her mother passed away when she was born, and she never got the chance to study in a school. We were not financially capable either and once I got married, I started working in factories, she said. Soumya now understands the empowering nature of education. Since I earn, though it is not much, and an educated woman also earns only after studying, I wondered earlier why is learning important. Until my daughter taught me how to write, she said. At the age of 60 Phoolwati, who was brought up in a village where people were mostly uneducated, is full of zeal to learn new things. Ive always been fascinated watching people swish their pens for their signatures. So, when my granddaughter approached me to teach me how to write I was overwhelmed with emotions. My own son has never taken such an initiative, she said. The 60-year-old woman desires to see her granddaughters educated and reaching great heights. The UP government launched the fourth phase of Mission Shakti this year which aims at ensuring womens safety. It primarily focuses on empowering women who can later set examples for future generations with education as the key.

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