85-year-old woman passes literacy test with 3000 others in Wayanad's tribal settlement

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala which has been at the forefront of the literacy campaign in India has secured yet another landmark in the literacy drive. A total of 2,993 candidates in the tribal settlements of Wayanad have cleared the literacy examination conducted by a state-run agency.

Kembi (85), hailing from Padachikunnu colony in Mananthavady, was the oldest among the candidates who had appeared for the second phase of the special tribal literacy project in the northern district by Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSML).

Eighteen year-old Santha of Vellari colony in Muppainadu village panchayat, was the youngest among the neo-literates, authorities said here.

With this, the total number of tribal inmates, who have become part of the world of letters by attending classes organised by the KSLM and passing the examination in the first and second phase, has risen to 7302, they said.

The pass percentage for the second phase exam, which was attended by 3,090 persons, stood at 98.9 percentage and the majority of successful candidateswere women-2285.

Kalpeta block had 812 successful candidates, the highest in the list, they said.

The exam was set for 100 marks with three components- reading (30 marks), writing (40 marks), and arithmetic (30 marks).

The candidates had to score 30 marks to pass.

The second phase activities were launched in February this year in 200 colonies in 26 local bodies, they said.

A prior survey, conducted in the colonies ahead of the second phase drive, had revealed 5,342 illiterate people, of which 3,133 were women and 2,209 men.

Of this, 2,993 were aged between 15 and 50, while 2,349 were above 50, a KSLM release added.

The literacy agency had launched several drives to eradicate illiteracy among marginalised sections like tribals, fisher folkand migrant labours in the state.

It also launched efforts to declare Attappady, one of the most backward tribal settlements of the state, the country's first complete literate tribal block next year.

(With inputs from PTI.)