Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Salam India:Bangle seller spreads Light of Knowledge

She sells bangles by the day to earn a living. But come evening and Hakim Bibi, who was illiterate until only 13 years ago, turns teacher to the young and old in her impoverished Jharkhand village.

The 53-year-old, who has made it her mission in life to spread the light of knowledge, spends her evenings imparting knowledge to hundreds like her who have never been to school.

Her mission is a ray of hope for a state where the literacy rate is 54 percent, far below the national average of 65 percent.

Hakim Bibi, who belongs to a conservative Muslim family, was illiterate till the age of 40 when she decided to learn how to read and write.

She enrolled with a government-sponsored adult literacy programme, Saksharta Vahini, in her village Bhikhrajpur in Dhanbad district in 1994. After learning how to read and write, she decided to teach her three children and later started giving tuitions free of charge to her neighbour's children.

'Initially, I started teaching my son and two daughters. Gradually, I started teaching the children of my neighbours,' she said.

Her eldest daughter is studying for her graduation while her youngest daughter is in Class 7. Her son has completed studies till the secondary level.

She said frankly that she could get an education earlier in life because of grinding poverty. 'I never went to a school. It is a big blot on my life,' she said.

After getting married, she started selling bangles to support her family. Her husband works as a labourer.

'In 1994, I got an opportunity to study in Saksharta Vahini. After learning to read and write I vowed to spread the knowledge of education among the poor children. I have been teaching gratis since then,' said Hakim Bibi.

'She is doing a great social work by spreading the knowledge of education among the children,' said Sakina Ansari, her neighbour.


Source: http://www.indiaenews.com/education/20071225/87929.htm

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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