Rajasthan: There are no age restrictions for receiving education. One must have a will to fight against all the odds to achieve what one dreams. Ayodhya Kumari Gaur attended a school for the first time at the age of 15. She had never been sent to schools before that. She learned how to read and write at a later age in her life. She is now 80 years old and runs a school. Let’s read about her journey. 

Who is Ayodhya Kumari

Ayodhya Kumari grew up in a family where it was forbidden to send girls to schools. Educating a girl child was just unthinkable. They were married off at a young age and were not given a chance to form their own individual identity. 

She lived with her father, Jagdish Narayan Sharma who was a priest in the village. When she turned 15, proposals of marriage were sent to many places. She shares that something unexpected happened then. 

People informed her father that he should have his daughter educated to get better marriage proposals and to marry her off to a good family. A woman who ran a school, made her father realize that if at all someone harasses his daughter, she must have a means to write a postcard to send to her family. This realization prompted her father to send her to school. 

Ayodhya went to a school for the first time in 15 years. She did not have a uniform, so she wore a saree to her classes. She did not want to let go of this golden opportunity. She quickly learned to read Hindi and became good with numbers as well. Science and English were difficult subjects, but she persevered through them. 

She was married off in the year 1962 and her studies came to a pause. 

Completing high school

Ayodhya’s in-laws were not very supportive of her. She wanted to continue her education but did not have a means. She had two children after her marriage. 

Surprisingly, one day her landlord’s son learned about her will to study and offered to give her private lessons. She did not inform her family about the same and kept her education a secret. She would keep all her books and notebooks hidden away from everyone. 

Opposition from the in-laws

When her in-laws learned about her accomplishments, they became furious. Her books were torn, and she was rebuked in front of everyone. But fortunately, she received support from her husband, Ram Prasad who was posted in Bikaner as a Naib Tehsildar.  Her husband helped her give the high school exams. 

In 1976, she gave high school exams and passed in all of them. 

Three years later, in 1979, she passed in class 12th and went on to study further for her graduation. After her graduation in 1983, she earned a B. Ed degree from Kota Open University in 1990. Interestingly, even her daughter was pursuing B. Ed. with her at the same time. 

Becoming a teacher

After completing her entire education, she started teaching at Shiv Balika Secondary School. Not many students attended school at that time, and so she would go around the village informing everyone to send their kids to school for education. 

In 2002, she started a school ‘Maharishi Public School’. Her school is still operating. She is 80 years old now, and never misses a day to teach her students.