Kerala Village Aims To Achieve 100 Per Cent Literacy In Hindi
In a small hamlet in Kerala, 72-year-old Janaki Amma enjoys her newfound love for Hindi and repeats the simple statement that was given to her as part of a panchayat’s initiative to achieve 100% Hindi literacy.
When Janaki Amma heard the phrase “Ek tandhi andheri raat sadak pe ja raha hai” (going down the road on a cold, dark night), she was astounded. The excited grandmother repeated what the teacher had taught her several times. At the time, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were opposing any attempts at “Hindi imposition,” and there were heated discussions on the topic online.
This endeavour appears to have been motivated by the necessity to interact with the significant population of migrant workers in the village. The goal is to declare Chelannur a fully literate panchayat in Hindi by Republic Day of the following year, making it the first civic body of its kind in Kerala and perhaps the first in all of southern India.
The objective of the authorities was to carry out a unique project with their limited resources while utilising the local panchayat’s human resource. However, the substantial presence of migrant labourers in the panchayat was the practical factor that pushed them to finalise the Hindi literacy programme.
Of course, the Chelannur village had been opposed to the idea for a long time before a Parliamentary panel’s recommendations to make Hindi the language of instruction in higher education institutions sparked a political uproar in the nation and states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu strongly opposed the proposal.
The remark was occasionally repeated by the 72-year-old Janaki Amma, possibly out of eagerness to learn something new in the twilight of life, according to her daughter Athmini, a volunteer in the community.
In the village panchayat, where there are many migrant workers from northern states, hundreds of villagers, cutting over age, gender, and educational boundaries, have been learning Hindi for some time as part of the civic body’s ambitious goal to reach 100% literacy in the language.
When the state achieved complete literacy in 1991, Chelannur, which is around 12 kilometres from the city, was the first panchayat in the Kozhikode district to have all residents be literate.
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