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Tribal girl appears for literacy exam on wedding day

A 21-year old tribal girl appeared for her “Neo-literate” exam in a village in tribal Jhabua district on Wednesday - the day she was getting married, drawing admiration from all around.

bhopal Updated: Mar 29, 2018 13:53 IST
C B Singh
C B Singh
Hindustan Times, Jhabua
Madhya Pradesh,Jhabua,tribal girl
Jhabua collector Ashish Saxena greeting Motha Bilawal who appeared for her Literacy exam on her wedding day in Jhabua on Wednesday. HT photo

A 21-year old tribal girl appeared for her “Neo-literate” exam in a village in tribal Jhabua district on Wednesday - the day she was getting married, drawing admiration from all around. Those who pass the exam are given a certificate to prove their literacy.

Motha Bilawal of Jhakela village, situated 8 km from the district headquarters, did not get any schooling and since many in her family were literate and also went to school, it irked her. When her marriage was fixed a few months back, she decided that she would not go to her in-laws house an illiterate.

“I took the help of my younger sister Sharda and she started teaching me every day and I became fluent in reading and writing and nowadays I read the newspaper almost every day,” she said.

But a little thing nagged Motha. She did not have anything to prove that she was literate. “Many of my cousins and friends have the Class 10 and 12 marksheet and certificate which proves that they are literate. I had none,” Motha said.

As luck would have it, news came that the exam for neo-literates was on March 28, the day she was to get married. “The thought of not appearing for the exam because of my marriage never appeared in my mind, so keen was I to take the exam and no one in my family also objected,” Motha said.

In her wedding finery, accompanied by her friends who were singing wedding songs to mark the day, Motha sat for the exam along with 53 others.

When the administration came to know about the situation, the collector Ashish Saxena and other senior administrative officials came and greeted Motha after her exam and the collector even gave her Rs 101 as a wedding gift.

“What Motha did is indeed commendable. They are the true ambassadors of the ongoing literacy movement in the tribal district.” Jhabua has a literacy rate of 38.64 per cent according to the district administration’s website, and it compares poorly with the overall Madhya Pradesh literacy rate that stands at 70.6 per cent.

Deputy collector who is in-charge of the literacy mission, Priti Sangvi said that the results would be declared within a day or two and we will deliver the certificate to her.

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 13:53 IST