At 89-years-old, Ramdas Sooklal is back in the classroom. Yesterday, in front of the scores of people who attended the Bocas Lit Fest at the National Library and Information System Authority, in Port-of-Spain, Sooklal read his first speech with pride, in the presence of a smiling Paula Lucie-Smith, CEO and founder of ALTA.
ALTA has been responsible for changing Sooklal's life, offering literacy tutoring to him in his twilight years. The occasion was heart-warming, as Sooklal, who never got an opportunity to educate himself as a child, because of various hardships in his life, could now read and write. In the presence of his family, Sooklal, a father of eight, who was almost moved to tears, said he was inspired by Kimani Maruge who acted in the movie, The First Grader.
Sooklal described Maruge as a man of courage and determination, who we should follow. "Nothing stopped this great man from achieving his purpose. He never gave up or took things for granted." Sooklal, ALTA's oldest student, said he was encouraged by one of his daughters to go back to school. "I always wanted to read and write better." Sooklal said he could now read the Holy Bible.