Bhadrak: A 57-year-old ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker of Bhadrak has proved that education knows no age bar by clearing the annual matriculation examination in Odisha this year after repeated attempts.
Swarnalata Pati, a resident of Kanti Gaan under Kurigaan panchayat in Bhandaripokhari block of Bhadrak, had studied till Class 7 and was initially working as a cook at village school.
She was discharging her duties as a single mother after losing her husband at the age of 27. Though being deprived of her schooling, she worked hard to educate her children up to the postgraduate level.
Swarnalata was later appointed as an ASHA in the village in the year 2005. She has received various awards at the district level due to her hard work and dedication.
However, the making of matriculation as a mandatory minimum educational qualification of ASHA came as a shock for her.
While she had decided to quit the job, Swarnalata pursued her studies at Odisha Open School after being encouraged by her son. She appeared for the matriculation examination at Bagurai High School in the district in 2020 but failed to clear the test only in English.
She filled up the form to appear for the examination again this year. She had cleared a mid-term exam in December. After the government cancelled the exams this year due to the Covid pandemic, she passed Class 10 as per government guidelines.