Village Phangane is a remote place in Thane district, some 100 plus km away from Mumbai. It has remained remote in all aspects without public transport, or a health centre. But last International women's day it created history by opening the Grannie School (Aajbaichi Shala) for the elderly women-folk! Daily about 28 women in the age group of 60 to 90 attend this Grannie School. They have a pink uniform which is a nine-yard saree. Some come walking while others are being dropped to school by their grandchildren.
The school timings are in the afternoon from 2 to 4 so that these women can manage their homely responsibilities. The teacher is aged 25, her mother-in-law is also one of the students. The school is conducted in two living rooms donated by a villager for the purpose and is run by a village trust. The undying wish of these women to avoid putting thumb impression in banking and other transactions is the source of the foundation of this unique school where age is no bar for learning. These elderly ladies just do not want to learn to sign their names but to sign their future.