Ressy mathew returned to Alphosa college campus in Pala, where she had once bagged the best actor award in a competition,after a gap of three decades the 52-year old who had to discontinue her pre-degree studies in 1985 due to financial difficulties, was back in the campus as an undergraduate student. The financial state has not changed much but her quest for learning has increased several fold. Resi Mathew has been waging a solo battle against innumerable odds. After She discontinued her studies, soon started working as a daily-wage labourer in farmlands as she saw her parents struggling to raise her three younger sisters. She traveled alone to Mumbai in search of a better livelihood when she was 20.
Thereafter, she built a secure house for her parents, married away her sisters, tied knot with her co-worker in a factory and gave birth to two children- all with in the age of 26. When her husband left her, Resi returned to Kerala with her children and started living on her own from the age of 30. Ever since, this woman, who originally belongs to the ancient tribal group called Malavedar, has been working as a domestic help to support her children’s studies.
Now at the age of 52, disappointed by her past which yeilded her nothing but sorrows, Resi decided to craft a better future. She recommenced her educationa journey, cleared higher secondary equivalency examination of Kerala state literacy mission and enrolled for her bachelors programme in History at Alphonsa college, pala. She has also set a new goal in her life- to acquire an LLB and raise voice for struggling single women. Here is an inspiring life- story of a tribal woman from Ettumanoor, who refuses to settle down with what fate gifted her.
Resi’s day dawn by 3.30 am. After preparing meals, she rushes to her neighborhood houses to clean the utensils and surroundings. After working in two houses, Resi returns home, gets ready and catches a bus to her college. ” Most of my classmates are of my children’s age. They don’t find a good friend in me. Some teachers, office staff and other house- keeping employees make up my company. Teachers are highly supportive. ” Iam weak in English, but teachers advised that additiona reading is the only way to better my language. Where do i get time for additional learning amid all these struggles? ” Resi bemoaned.
The middle- aged woman is also an active participant in cultural activities at the college. Be it recitation, drama, lyrical story – telling, Hindi essay writing or elocution, Resi Mathew is one of the sure contestants. ” I have long wished for an energetic campus life. Better late than never,” the optimist smiled.
Back from college, Resi runs to her workplaces where she helps with preparing dinner and cleaning the day’s utensils. However, she spends at least two hours a day for her.
If life appears to be very hard and miserable, meet K.S.Anil kumar, 39, from punalur in Eastern Kollam. With 70 percent disability inflicted by polio at the age of 3, he has fought all odds to clear higher Secondary equivalency examinations in flying colors.