The Aajibaichi Shala, or grandmothers' school, is perhaps the only one in India for uneducated, elderly women. Set up by a charitable trust and Yogendra Bangar, a teacher at the village's primary school, the school teaches the women to read and write, and basic arithmetic. All pics/AFP
The opening day was celebrated like a festival, with entire families accompanying the women to their first day of school, More said. Since then, classes have been moved to a purpose-built hut in her backyard, in the shade of a large mango tree.
Inside the hut, festooned with streamers and flowers, the women gingerly sit cross-legged on cotton rugs on the mud floor, and pull out slates, notebooks, chalk and pencils.
About 30 women aged 60 to 90 years attend classes for two hours in the afternoon, six days a week. In the past year, they have learned the Marathi alphabet, numbers and can write their names.
After the prayer and roll call, they recited the alphabet. Some practised writing in their notebooks and their slates, their bangles clinking as they focused on their letters. Others chatted among themselves and giggled.
Aniket Kedar, 15, helping his grandmother Gulab Kedar complete her homework at the Aajibaichi Shala
Indian grandmother Ramabai Khandakre, 69, reading from a textbook during a class at Aajibaichi Shala
Indian grandmother Nirmala Kedar, 64, reading the Marathi alphabets in a class at Aajibaichi Shala, or "school for grannies" in the local Marathi language, in Phangane village in Maharashtra state's Thane district, some 125km northeast of Mumbai.
Deprived of an education as children, the women -- most of whom are widows and aged between 60 and 90 -- are finally fulfilling a life-long dream to become literate through this unique initiative near Mumbai
During the day, women go about their chores, cleaning, cooking and tending to the livestock and young grandchildren.
Ajibai chi Shala
Savita Kedar being accompanied by her grandchildren as she walks home after attending class at the Aajibaichi Shala.