Sarita Zagade, a 43-year-old homemaker in Mumbai, appeared for her first ever board examination on Tuesday. A resident of Wageshwari Nagar in Sewri, Sarita had to drop out of school after Class 4 due to some financial constraints.
This year, she is taking the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination along with her 16 year old daughter Shrutika.
“I was not able to complete my education. I was in class IV when my father died. We were four sisters and one brother. Us sisters then got together to earn money to run the household,” she told NDTV.
Sarita joined a night school in Class 8 after her husband Vishwanath, motivated her to continue with her education. Vishwanath is a graduate and works with the Tax Appellate Tribunal.
“Initially, I was very scared to go back to school after almost 35 years, but my husband pushed me to do it. I thought of giving it a shot and told him I would continue only if I liked it. Within just a few days, I began loving it,” she told The Times of India.
Sarita’s elder daughter Kshitija is also appearing for Higher Secondary Education (HSC) examination and the mother and daughters have been studying together for the past few months. They juggle between studying and household chores according to their exam schedules. The three of them have been assigned different examination centres.
“Everyone seemed to be looking at me and I realised that they weren’t used to older people in the exam hall, but I had to concentrate on writing my exam…My daughters and my family has been extremely supportive of me and so I am able to give my best. We won’t disappoint each other,” said Sarita.