Unlike others, our generation is fortunate enough to have ample of opportunities and support for completing our education but even today there are some regions where girl education is still frowned upon.With so many schemes started by the government for helping girls get an education, this story comes in as a breath of fresh air.
M. Chellathai, now 67 years old was keen on pursuing higher studies after her sslc exams. However, her father tore up the application for admission to Queen Mary’s College objecting her will to study and married her off.
Disappointed but not discouraged, she hoped that her husband after marriage would look at her aspirations and allow her to follow her goals. Nothing much changed however and her husband was reluctant as well, a degree for a woman was still not something many accepted.
M.Chellathai somehow convinced her husband to permit her to seek employment in the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation in Gopalapuram as a clerk, after her father’s death. Yet she was not permitted to pursue higher education. She retired in 2009.In a report published by The Hindu she shares how she used up her retirement money and benefits to fund her further education.
“My hope of joining a course to study at the university level was not fulfilled until my retirement. I used the money I received as retirement benefits for my education,” says Ms. Chellathai.”
Since Five decades her only dream was to pursue higher studies and the dream moved a step closer to reality when the Governor of Tamil Nadu Open University, Banwarilal Purohit admitted her to the postgraduate degree programme in history helped and motivated by her daughters, she kept on the path.
Blessed indeed was the day when her perseverance paid off and she robed herself in the mortarboard and received her MA in History degree from Madras University.
Talking with Hindu she shared her experience, “Every young student I talk to reminds me of the opportunities I have now. One of my daughters at home assists me. I work hard.” And what’s more, now that she has one degree, she is all set for another. Brimming with hope and happiness, she shared her future dreams. “I will join another course to study Law. Age cannot deter me from studying for a degree,” she told the Hindu.
As India marches on towards educating the girl child, we salute this woman who stood her ground and never gave up on her dreams.