In the past two years, nearly 10,000 tribals have benefited from literacy programmes in Kerala; thanks to an epoch-making drive by a government agency.
Statistics show that a total of 9,975 tribal people have benefited from three such programmes implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) in villages across the southern State during 2017-2019.
There has been a nine-fold increase in the number of beneficiaries during the period, compared to 2015-2017. The initiatives – Wayanad Literacy Equivalency programme, Attappadi Literacy Equivalency and Samagra – were launched to make an impact on the lives of the marginalised people through the literacy drive.
“Of the total beneficiaries, 7,565 were women. As many as 4,309 tribal people were covered under the Wayanad Literacy Equivalency programme implemented in the socially and economically backward hamlets of Wayanad,” P.S. Sreekala, director, KSLM, said.
“A total of 3,670 people have benefited through the programme implemented in Attappadi region. A total of 1,996 tribals have been covered under the Samagra programme, launched in 100 educationally backward colonies across the state. The appointment of tribal people as instructors had a great role in the success of the literacy drive,” Sreekala said.
“We have recruited 620 instructors from the tribals who speak various indigenous languages,” the official said, adding that the second and third phases of the drive were progressing in Wayanad and Attappadi. The Literacy Mission has plans to declare Attappadi a “completely literate block” by June next year, authorities said.
According to the 2001 census, the Scheduled Tribe population in Kerala is 3,64,189, which constitutes 1.14% of the total population. Wayanad has the highest number of tribal people (1,36,062), it said.
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