Chelakkodan Aysha was buried at Kavanoor Juma Masjid graveyard

The mortal remains of Chelakkodan Aysha, the brand ambassador of Kerala’s famed literacy movement, were interred at the Kavanoor Juma Masjid graveyard, near Areekode, on Friday morning. She died of respiratory problems on Thursday night. She was 91.

It was on April 18, 1991, that Aysha declared Kerala a totally literate State in front of a mammoth gathering at Mananchira Grounds in Kozhikode. Since then, she had been one of the torchbearers of the State’s literacy movement.

An illiterate till her late 60s, Aysha secured her Plus Two equivalency certificate two years ago through her persistence. She won several awards, including the President’s medal for her literacy work.

For the past two decades, Aysha has been the chief guest at many a ‘literacy day’ function on September 8. Her presence was a fountain of encouragement for those who came forward to learn the alphabet much later in life. Her name echoed throughout the literacy campaign that the State witnessed in the 1990s. Aysha is survived by six children. People from different walks of life paid her homage at her Kavanoor house.

Indian Union Muslim League district president Sayed Sadikali Shihab Thangal led her Janaza prayers. In his condolence message, the Thangal said the pursuit of literacy was much better than martyrdom for the sake of God. “Aysha was a beacon for those who groped in the darkness of illiteracy. She proved that age is never a barrier for anything,” he said.

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