20 seniors, men and women, dressed in convocation gowns hired for the occasion posed for photographs on a school auditorium stage on Saturday evening, a few shy, a few excited and a few amused.
There was some fuss and celebration in order here. For, a NGO called Dignity Foundation was making these people of Mullima Nagar off the Marina proud of being early literates.
Over the past year, this group, all 60 years plus has made an effort to read and write the basics in Thamizh. They are residents of the kuppams along the beachside and attend activities Dignity runs at a small space in the nagar, round the year. Some 80 plus people, mostly women, are here for story-telling, play-acting, singing and lessons-sharing sessions.
Reading and writing was one such project.
Said Felista Jose, Dignity’s Chennai chapter manager, “We wanted each of them to be able to sign in Thamizh and to be able to read simple sentences in books and newspapers.”
Added her colleague Auxilia, who works at the kuppam centre, ” Many of them said they felt proud now that they could sign formally. For ages, they used to give their thumb impressions.”
20 people were honoured with certificates and medals at Saturday’s event held at the campus of a church on Lazarus Church Road in R A Puram. P. R. Athreyan, president of a Rotary Club was the chief guest and Joseph Noel Nehru was guest of honour.
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