This 60-year-old woman of Sakuapara village in Darrang district of Assam has to her credit the achievement of motivating hundreds of people to start studying. A daily wage worker, Medhi, works in other people's paddy fields for a living.
However, she never misses an opportunity to campaign for literacy. She has also published two books, including a compilation of Assamese poems. Despite her age, her eagerness to learn is still strong. Her next aim is to learn Hindi.
"Even now I want to learn more but due to financial constraints I cannot fulfill my dreams. If I get help from any source then I could have spend more time to learn things. At least I could spend 8-9 hours within a day. I am not a professional teacher but I am trying hard and now I want to learn Hindi," said Medhi.
Medhi had to drop out of school at the age of 10 inspite of wanting to study further. She started studying again in 1993, when a volunteer of an adult literacy programme convinced her to come to school. She also realized the need to educate herself when some locals tried to fraudulently cash a cheque she had received as the secretary of a group of women weavers.
Having realized how important education is for women, Medhi went from village to village urging women to go to schools. She also teaches the village women on a regular basis.
"She works very hard to educate people. Sometimes it is very difficult for us to go to school every day as we have lots of household work at home, and also have to go to the paddy field. But inspite of all the difficulties, we are managing to go to school," said Kanika, a local.
Medhi has been championing the cause of female education in a place where the very thought was a taboo few years back. Since 2012 she has conducted Saakshar Bharati exams for more than 100 adults, and has touched more than 3000 lives by urging them to become literate.
She is now the head of the school's managing committee, and is also a regular speaker at the Sakuapara high school and a private Assamese medium school.
"During my days, people had big families and they were not able to afford the education of all the children. So they sent 1-2 children to school and the others to work, but now it has changed. Nowadays people have small families and they send all the kids to school. Most people are getting education, so I am happy to see that," Medhi added.
Through her hard work and determination, Medhi continues to contribute to improving the lives of people around her.
--ANI (Posted on 20-09-2013)