Bihari migrant woman emerges topper in Malayalam exam

Bihari migrant woman emerges topper in Malayalam literacy exam

Representative image (iStock photo)

Malayalam is not her mother tongue, yet it did not become a hindrance for this 26-year old Bihari woman who emerged the topper in a literacy examination conducted in the classical language in Kerala for migrant labourers.

Hailing from a nondescript village in Bihar, Romiya Kathur imbibed the soul of Malayalam language and scored first rank with full 100 marks in the examination held by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority recently. Kathur had reached Kerala in search of a job along with her husband Saifullah and settled down in Umayanalloor in southern Kollam district six years ago.

Running a tiny juice parlour here now, the woman, a mother of three, had written the exam at a local higher secondary school carrying her four-months-old baby daughter, Thamanna last month. A total of 1,998 migrant labourers had appeared for the literacy exam in the second phase of the scheme "Changathi" across the state on January 19. Changathi (Friend) project is aimed at teaching migrant labourers, living in the state, Malayalam within four months.

It had begun in Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district, the hub of migrant labourers in the state on August 15, 2017, Literacy Mission officials said. Over 3,700 migrants, who flocked to the southern state in search of better wages and living conditions, had cleared the exam under the initiative so far in two phases, they said. Mission director, P S Sreekala visited Kathur at her home here recently and congratulated for the rare achievement.

The migrant woman said she wanted to clear the higher secondary equivalency exam conducted by the Mission, for which the directed extended complete support. She also said "Hamari Malayalam, the textbook prepared for students of the Changathi scheme, was very helpful in the daily life. "It has helped me a lot in communicating in Malayalam, life especially in railway station and market," she said adding she also wanted to teach her children Malayalam.

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