Over 2,600 Attappady tribals appear for literacy exam

Over 2,600 Attappady tribals appear for literacy exam

Fighting poverty and backwardness, over 2,600 odd tribals, mostly women, of Attappady in Kerala have appeared for a literacy examination aimed at eradicating illiteracy among tribals and bring them to the mainstream of society.

The examination was held in Attappady, one of the largest tribal belts of the state, as part of the second phase of the special literacy-cum-equivalency drive organised by the state-run Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM), official sources here said today.

The tribals flocked to the respective exam centres, collected answer sheets enthusiastically and wrote the exam on July 29 in Agaly, Sholayur and Puthur - the three village panchayats of Attappady block in Palakkad district.

The objective of the programme was to eradicate illiteracy among tribals and bring the backward group to the mainstream of society, the sources said. A total of 2,624 neo-literates, including 2003 women, had appeared for the exam conducted at 138 centres in the three village panchayats, Literacy Mission Director P S Sreekala said.

While 89-year-old Chelly, a native of Kuravankandi hamlet, was the oldest among those who wrote the exam, Karthi, a 19-year-old woman hailing from Cheramankandi, was the youngest, she said. "The literacy classes were held in 129 hamlets since last December.

As many as 275 instructors including 218 tribals had been deployed as instructors for the programme," she said. The 100-mark exam had three parts-reading, writing and mathematics. The minimum pass mark is 30. The new textbooks, based on which the exam was conducted, had lessons on forest and environment conservation, sanitation and issues related to the lifestyle of tribals.

A total of 1,127 tribals, hailing from 63 hamlets, had already become literate in Attappady in the first phase of the literacy programme.

The Literacy Mission had recently rolled out three literacy-cum-equivalency programmes in tribal belts across the state especially in Wayanand and Attappadi regions, with focus not just on literacy but also on social security of the inhabitants. Attappady, home to 32,956 tribals, is one of the most backward region of the state. 

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