You only lose when you give up.
Nobody needs to teach CPM's Kerala unit that lesson. Revivals and comebacks have been part of the red party's legacy in the southern state. Grassroots outreach and the familiarity of its cadres with the masses have always been the Left's greatest strength.
Two weeks after one of their biggest electoral defeats, the Left is back to the salt mines in Kerala to recapture lost ground.
After the summer vacations this academic year, children in hundreds of schools across Kerala were greeted with bags, umbrellas and notebooks by the Students Federation of India (SFI) - the student wing of the CPM.
"The SFI will adopt 102 schools in Kottayam district alone. Not just books and bags but students of these schools will be given all necessary study material for the year. We will also provide them with guides and reference books during the exam period," said Justin Joseph, a district level office-bearer of the SFI.
The schools are not selected at random. Rather, places, where most students belong to backward families, are given priority. Since students from underprivileged families opt for public-funded schools, they are the focus of the campaign.
The SFI is also building libraries at many schools which don't have one. Children's literature, travelogues, atlases and other works are collected by cadres at their respective colleges and localities. "By the time they are handed over to the schools, there will be hundreds of books. The shelves to keep the books will also be provided," Justin said.
The SFI, along with the party's youth wing DYFI, also conducted several campaigns as part of World Environment Day. They launched a statewide pre-monsoon sanitation drive during which roadsides and clogged drains were cleaned. From June 5, baby guppies, the fish that feed on mosquito larvae, were distributed at many places.
The blood donors' cell and the "Hrudayapoorvam" campaign too are back in full swing after the poll season. "Pothichoru", DYFI's iconic campaign of supplying free lunches at top medical colleges in the state, was in the news for the wrong reasons when the UDF candidate in Kollam moved the Election Commission, calling it an act to influence voters.
"Over 5000 meals are distributed every day in the Thiruvananthapuram medical college. Our district committee started the campaign about two and a half years ago and now other committees are also doing it," Nandagopal S, a DYFI worker in the capital city, said.
The food is collected from houses in different parts of the district by volunteers who go from door to door. Volunteers who ask for one meal are usually given five or ten packs by the same family.
Such innovative campaigns are what differentiate us from other mainstream political parties, a CPM member from Alappuzha said.