[India], Nov 1 (ANI): Karthiyani Amma, the 96-year-old woman from Kerala's Alappuzha district, who grabbed headlines for topping the 'Aksharalaksham' literacy programme, scoring a stellar 98 out of 100, was on Thursday felicitated by state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The 'Aksharalaksham' is a literacy programme of Kerala State Literacy Mission in which reading, writing and basic mathematical skills are tested. A total of 43,330 candidates appeared for the examination while 42,933 of them passed it.
Amma, who was in a joyous mood, was honoured with a certificate by Vijayan for passing the test and also created a unique record of becoming the oldest person ever to top Kerala's literacy examination.
Revealing her secret to success, Amma, in a lighter note, said that she did not copy from anyone, rather she allowed others to copy from her.
"I did not copy from anyone, rather I let others copy from me. I told them what to write (in the exam). I have been studying for the last two months. There were many people who came forward to teach me, which became easier for me. I learnt mathematics, numbers and alphabets," a beaming Amma said.
The lively old woman underlined that she wanted to take the literacy exam as she was inspired by other children studying. She divulged that she wanted to become a government official.
"I saw other children studying and that made me inspire (to take the exam). I never got the opportunity when I was young otherwise I would have become a government official," Amma added.
The nonagenarian further revealed that her next mission was to take up higher studies and learn computers.
The state-run Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority launched the Aksharalaksham literacy programme on the occasion of Republic Day this year in order to achieve the target of 100 per cent literacy and help eradicate illiteracy among marginalised groups like tribals, fisher folks and slum-dwellers in the state.
As per UNESCO norms, Kerala was declared a fully literate state on April 18, 1991, which means attaining 90 per cent literacy.
However, as per the 2011 Census, around 18.5 lakh people were reported to be illiterate in the state that impelled the state government to launch the Aksharalaksham programme. (ANI)