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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

West Kallada sets a goal of graduating all residents- Mrit News

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Grama panchayat joining hands with Sree Narayana Guru Open University to achieve the feat

Grama panchayat joining hands with Sree Narayana Guru Open University to achieve the feat

West Kallada may be one of the less-prosperous villages in Kollam, but its residents are all set for a new beginning. The grama panchayat will soon be joining hands with Sree Narayana Guru Open University (SNGOU) to help all its residents graduate.

As part of the ambitious project, persons who have completed Plus Two can sign up for various degree courses offered by the SNGOU while graduates can join for postgraduate courses. The course fee for any of the 12 undergraduate and 5 postgraduate programmes will be borne by the panchayat and university.

“Many of our residents, especially women, had to stop their education midway. When some expressed their desire to continue studies after the break, we decided to give them a chance. We are the first local body to come up with such an initiative and the university officials are very supportive,” says panchayat president C. Unnikrishnan.

Though the project was initially planned for persons below the age of 50, it was later decided to accommodate everyone irrespective of their age.

No restrictions

“After the project was announced in grama sabhas, some retired persons wanted to join and now we are planning not to restrict anyone. Our goal is to make all residents graduates.” The panchayat will first conduct a survey to identify the beneficiaries and ward-level meetings will be held to motivate potential candidates.

“We will be talking to reluctant persons, addressing their problems and encouraging them to move forward,” he says. The authorities are planning to complete the registration process by July so that the students can join the respective courses in August.

The panchayat has 14 wards and a considerable percentage of the residents are fishers and farmers. “There are also many Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers and the income of the panchayat is very limited. For the comprehensive development of the local body, we are currently focussing on projects related to education and employment generation,” says Mr. Unnikrishnan.

At present steps have been taken to develop the panchayat into a village tourism destination with funds sanctioned by K. Somaprasad’s Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), Kerala State Biodiversity Board), Kerala State Electricity Board and the Departments of Fisheries and Tourism. “The project is expected to create many local job openings and we want the residents to be prepared for that,” he adds.

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