Midday meal cook learns to read and write with children, turns education activist | india news | Hindustan Times
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Midday meal cook learns to read and write with children, turns education activist

Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh wrote to Ramwati and awarded her a cash prize of Rs 51,000.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2017 22:55 IST
Pradeep Saxena
Ramwati (centre) studies with students at the Qazimabad primary school in Atrauli, Aligarh.
Ramwati (centre) studies with students at the Qazimabad primary school in Atrauli, Aligarh. (Mahipal Singh /Hindustan Times)

At 56, Ramwati, a cook preparing midday meals at the Qazimabad primary school in Atrauli, has become an inspiration for many in her village. While working at the school, she took out time to study with the students and can read and write up to Class 5 level today.

Ramwati has worked at the school for seven years. She said she had to take up the job to better her financial situation. “My husband passed away in 2004 after a prolonged illness and both my daughters are married. During my stay at the school, I started sitting with children and learnt how to read and write. The teachers also helped me,” she said.

Now, Ramwati works to spread awareness among school drop-outs, encouraging them to take up studies again. She is also motivating parents to send kids to school.

Lauding her efforts, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh wrote her a congratulatory note and awarded her a cash prize of ₹51,000. “This initiative of Ramwati will inspire men and women alike. She must continue her studies,” he said.

Ramwati told HT that the prize money had already been credited in her bank account. “I will buy some books. I will also help poor children who are unable to buy copies and books,” she said.

School principal Satya Parakash said, “Ramwati has a deep interest in studies. But what’s also admirable is that she never overlooked her responsibilities as a cook on the pretext of studying. The midday meal is always ready before time.”

Qazimabad village head Raj Kumar said that the village was proud of her. “If she desires to continue with further studies, I will help her.”