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Vikash Sharma

Paradip: Age can never be a barrier to pursue dreams. This adage seems to be true in the case of 53-year-old Tilotatma Patra of Paradip as the quinquagenarian is preparing herself to appear for the toughest exam of her life, the Matriculation examination.

Despite being her first love, Tilottama could not complete her formal education due to poor financial background. However, it never deterred her to take small steps towards her long cherished dream to complete her Matriculation.

“I have learnt that age cannot stop a person to do whatever he/she wants in life. This inspired me to study and achieve something big,” said Tilottama.

Interestingly, Tilottama’s four children have not completed their Matriculation and this perhaps has given her more strength to take up the fight all by herself against all odds.

“Without education, it is hard to sustain a good livelihood. It is education that makes a person complete as he/she can differentiate between good and bad,” Tilottama said adding that it will be proud moment for her if she passes the upcoming Matric exam.

Tilottama has been working as an ASHA worker for the last 10 years. It was in 1992 when she began her journey towards a better future by getting enrolled under the literacy programme.

Since then, Tilottama has been working tirelessly to achive her goal of completing her formal education. Her story of struggle and sheer determination has now become a source of inspiration for other women in the region.

“She has interest for studies and she has also taught us to read and write. We are happy that she has been able to bring in a change in us,” said Shantilata Barik, a neighbour.

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