KOCHI: Many migrant workers in Kerala speak fairly fluent Malayalam. Soon, they may as well start writing the local language. If things go as per the State Literacy Mission’s plan, the migrants settled in the Perumbavoor municipal area will handle Malayalam and Hindi with ease.
Having conducted a survey in Perumbavoor, the Literacy Mission has decided to set up as many as 50 literacy classes in different parts of the municipal area to educate the migrants. “We are planning to conduct literacy classes in select wards as most migrants don’t have ample time to attend the classes,” E V Anil, the Literacy Mission district coordinator, told Express. “It will be good if instructors could conduct the classes at places where migrants stay. We have identified 50 areas for starting the classes.”
According to the survey conducted by the Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA), 86.24 per cent of the 1,701 migrant workers residing in Perumbavoor Municipality expressed the desire to attend literacy classes.
The state government conducted the first-of-its-kind survey aiming to integrate migrant labourers into Kerala society by imparting reading and writing skills in Malayalam and Hindi. “We expect to begin the classes by the end of this month as the study material is nearing completion. As most of them are from Bengal and Assam, translators are needed. We are in the process of identifying people capable of translating in these languages. We also need to find a suitable time for the classes as the owners should allow the migrants to study,” Anil said.
Meanwhile, 13.76 per cent of the respondents expressed their lack of interest in joining the literacy programmes citing a shortage of free time and the nature of their jobs. Those who expressed willingness to join the classes wanted to learn English apart from Hindi and Malayalam, said the survey report. “Since most migrants use mobile phones, we are planning to use technology to educate them,” the coordinator said. The Mission’s move has received a warm reception among the workers.
“Due to certain financial and family issues, we couldn’t get education. Gradually, that became a distant dream. Now, we are happy to get an opportunity to study. Thanks to the government,” said Bablu.