A group of grannies, all dressed in Pink Navari Sarees will be a common sight you will see at this novel school named Aajibaichi Shala. A school for grandmothers, this novel concept is brightening the days of many grannies in Thane, Maharashtra. A school which has students aged from 60 years to 90 years!
Stylewhack Team took a peek at this unique school and we were spellbound by it.
The Story of Aajibaichi Shala –
Aajibaichi Shala was started by Yogendra Bangar with the help of Motiram Dalal Charitable Trust. The school was started on 08-Mar-2016, last year on the occasion of Women’s Day and it is one of its kinds. The school recently shifted to a bigger premises on 26-Jan-2017 and the grannies could not have been happier.
Mr. Bangar doesn’t even accept donations for this school as he thinks it is his own baby. He being a teacher himself understands the importance of education. On asked about the inspiration behind starting the school, Mr. Bangar said “I started this school after one of the grandmothers said to me that she wished she could read at least the holy books. That’s when I felt the need to do this.”
The Students Speak
The single class has 27 students and are taught to read in Marathi, sign and multiply. They have a single teacher who praises her students to be obedient and eager to learn. The oldest of the students, Sitabai Deshmukh aged 90 says “Never in my long life had I thought I would get a chance to go to a school. When I was young, my family was poor and girls didn’t have the chance to go to schools. I have had a new life for the last year.”
All the grannies laugh out loud confessing that they do their homework with their grandkids many of the times!
Beyond the School
The new premises also has a garden space where every student has planted a sapling. Each of the granny student is responsible for the sapling and have to take care of the plant. Each tree has a number and the name of its caretaker. Kantabai More, aged 65 years says “Now that all of us old ladies are in same class, we have a lot of fun gardening”. The garden and the trees give us a sense of belonging claim these elderly women.
This school definitely made us reinstate that ‘Age is just a number‘. Go out there and touch the skies! All the best to these grannies who are the epitome of wise women.