There is never a deadline for learning a new skill. At the age of 93, an illiterate person from the remote Khellani Bhala village of Doda district has proved it. Nearing a century, he has just learned to read and write.
Under the initiative ‘Each One Teach One’, Madhav Lal of Khellani Bhala area in Doda was taught by his grandson Manjeet Singh, a student of BEd college, for two years from 2015 to 2017 and now, he can read and write Urdu and English words. He can also do addition and subtraction and can dial numbers on his mobile without anyone’s help.
This has become possible as students of BEd college of the Bhaderwah campus of the University of Jammu were given a task by Rector GM Bhat to teach one person during the two years of the course and Lal was taught by his grandson, who was pursuing BEd from the campus.
“Having remained illiterate for his whole life, Madhav Lal now can read big fonts of Urdu and English newspapers and can manage simple account of money with the local shopkeeper,” GM Bhat, Rector, Bhaderwah campus, told The Tribune.
Bhat said the 2015-17 batch had taught 83 people during the programme, the age of whom ranged from 12 to 93 years. “In the second batch (2016-18), 77 people are being taught and in the third batch (2017-19), 74 people are being taught,” Bhat said.
This initiative by the Rector of Bhaderwah campus is a small step towards achieving the bigger goal in the state where, according to the 2011 census report, literacy rate is 67.16 per cent. Doda district, where Bhaderwah campus is situated, ranks 10th and has the literacy rate of 64.7 per cent, which is below the average percentage of the literacy rate of the state.
This ‘Each One Teach One’ initiative is the creation of Bhaderwah campus as nothing such has been going on in any other college of education in the state. There are many other steps taken by the campus under the guidance of its Rector through which society is being involved in the learning process. On October 3, one such programme ‘Ahsaas- Ek Din Buzurgon Ke Saath’ was organised where elders of society were invited and asked to share their experience with the students.