ChandramayaPariyar,60 years old, lives in Rampur Chaurah, Nawalparasi. She grew up in a family with five sisters and four brothers, her father and mother. At the age of 11 she got married. She said, “I was very much upset with my family and society because I could not get school-education for being a daughter”.
She had to face lots of difficulties in her daily life because of her illiteracy. When there were women’s group meetings or saving-credit group meetings, she could not write her name in the attendance record and hadto stamp-pad her finger print instead. Chandramaya felt so ashamed to not even be able to write her name that she did not want to attend these meetings. She was unable to support her grandchildren’s studies. It was difficult to receive elderly citizen’s allowances given by the government as she could not understand or fill in the forms and sign her name on it.
She got the opportunity to attend a non-formal education class run by Zion church Nawalparasi, one of the partners of Sagoal. She regularly attended this class with great enthusiasm for six months. She said, ‘This class fulfilled my keen interest to study since my childhood.” She used to come to class in her free time. Her strong desire for study enabled her to become literate. Chandramaya said, “I am now able to write my name, I can read simple words and sentences. I can make simple calculations. Now I am extremely happy – I can do my signature myself in each meeting, write bank cheques, and sign at government offices. I am also able to keep records of household income and expenses. I can read and keep track of my saving-credit passbook.” She shared this with a big smile.
This kind of success might seem minor to some people, but it has been of great value to ChandramayaPariyar and other women like her. As a result of the non-formal education class Chandramaya is now confident and able to attend the group-meetings she always wanted to and activily participate in her community.