KOCHI: The ‘Changathi’ project launched by Kerala Literacy Mission to arm the migrant labourers with enough knowledge of Malayalam is seeing great success, especially in Ernakulam district.
At present around 2,934 migrant labourers have enrolled in the evening classes being conducted by the literacy mission in association with the local self-government bodies.
“With its status as the commercial and business hub of the state, Ernakulam attracts migrants in large numbers from states like Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. However, their lack of knowledge in Malayalam is a hurdle for them,” said Justin Joseph, Ernakulam coordinator of Changathi.
According to him, the project is going strong and those who have enrolled in the programme will be able to get a hang of basic Malayalam within five months. “At present, around 193 migrant labourers working in and around Nedumbassery, Poickattussery and Maikad have enrolled in the four classes being conducted by the Literacy Mission,” he said.
“One centre is functioning at Poickattussery and one at Maikad. Nedumbassery has two centres,” added Justin. Even though 193 persons had enrolled, we never thought they would turn up for the classes, he said. “At present, 100 migrant labourers are regularly attending the classes,” said Justin.“There are 72 students at the classes being held at Nedumbassery, 64 at Poickattussery and 25 at Maikad,” Justin said. According to him, another facet that makes the classes at Ernakulam different are the involvement of stakeholders.
“Unlike in other districts, in Ernakulam, we have partnered with the Labour Department, District Legal Services Authority, St Nobert Migrant Welfare Society, Excise Department, Health Department and the Don Bosco,” he said. This ensures that they get all the help needed in getting relevant documents to aid them in receiving the benefits of the central - state government schemes, he added.
“Learning basic Malayalam will also help them get along with the natives,” he added. According to him, the decision to seek the assistance of the Labour Department was taken after the mission officers faced difficulties in convincing the employers to allow the labourers to attend the classes. “Once the Labour Department stepped in, the employers relented and the labourers began attending the classes which are held in the evenings and on Sundays,” said Justin. “Our model of approach has been also appreciated by the Literacy Mission director P S Sreekala,” he said. According to the director, the project has been going on well in other districts too.
A step forward
Those who have enrolled in the programme will be able to get a hang of basic Malayalam within five months In Ernakulam, the programme is being held in association with the Labour Department, District Legal Services Authority, St Nobert Migrant Welfare Society, Excise Department, Health Department and the Don Bosco. At present, 100 migrant labourers are regularly attending the classes