Kerala village aims at 100% Hindi literacy to accommodate growing migrant populationtext_fields
Kozhikode: At a time when several parts of India with regional languages are protesting against the attempts to impose Hindi, a village in Kerala has announced its intentions to achieve 100% literacy in Hindi.
The Chelannur panchayat in Kozhikode has taken up the initiative due to the growing migrant worker population. If the goal is achieved by January next year, it will be the first civic body in Kerala and probably the first in south India to have 100% Hindi literacy. Panchayat president Nousheer P P said the project wants to educate everyone in the age group 20-70.
Authorities in the Congress-ruled panchayat said that the priority is to implement a unique project with the limited funds available. A series of workshops were conducted and a panel of experts has been formed to train those who want to learn. Hindi teachers, ex-military personnel, Gulf returnees, and others who are fluent in the language have taken up the role of instructors. The main goal is to equip people with basic skills to communicate with migrant workers who have become an integral part of social life.
"The Hindi study classes began in all the 21 wards of the panchayat using these study materials and instructors. With the support of the Hindi teachers of the village schools, a module of teaching and study materials was prepared. The time in between the weekly meetings of Kudumbashree and the lunch or tea breaks amid the MNREGA activities are utilised for Hindi learning," said the president.
Nousheer said that the response received from the public was "beyond words" and some wards conducted 8-10 classes a week. "Though we targeted people up to age 70 only, even people aged 77 and 78 years are part of our project now." The Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority and Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha have offered support and assistance.
He added that the efforts were launched way before the political controversy sweeping the country. The Centre has asked higher education institutes in the country to make Hindi the medium of instruction. States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have strongly opposed the recommendation. "There is no connection between our project and the recent controversy regarding Hindi. The conceptualisation and other basic works of the project began last year. Ahead of the launch, a survey was conducted to identify those who are not well-versed in Hindi and those who are interested to learn the language," said Nousheer to PTI.