Tirurangadi's paraplegic literacy activist Rabiya honoured with Padma Shri

Shaneesh Moozhikkal

Rabiya with her relatives in Vellanakkattil house

Tirurangadi: One of the highest civilian awards Padma Shri came in search of KV Rabiya who is a staunch literacy activist in Tirurangadi. Though 56-year-old Rabiya is paraplegic, she pursued her literacy mission without fail by sitting in a wheelchair.

Rabiya’s house on the banks of the Kadalundi river is also a cultural centre for the people of Tirurangadi. She had dealt with several works including that of the library, palliative care, rehabilitation of physically challenged persons and women, and issues related to family conflicts.

She developed early symptoms of paralysis when she was studying in class 9. Life was difficult as her mother had 6 daughters including Rabiya to look after. Her uncle took her to school during high school and she joined PSMO college in Tirurangadi later for pre-degree course. But she could not attend the examination as she got completely immobilised six months before the exams. Still determined, Rabiya completed graduation and post-graduation via distance education. Along with this, voracious reading also added her strength. Even before the government deployed its literacy mission, Rabiya started to teach the people in her locality. Meanwhile, she survived cancer too.

Rabiya was honoured with many awards including the National Youth Award of 1993. She was the daughter of the late Vellinakkattil Moosakutty and Biyachutti. She is now living with her sister’s family at her residence.

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