KOCHI: Vishu is a festival that is awaited eagerly by the young and old in Kerala. The young ones look forward to the festival more since on Vishu, the elders gift them coins as kaineettam. However, over the years, with families drifting apart as jobs and education take the younger generation away to places outside the country, parents and grandparents are left with no one to give or receive kaineettam to or from.
This problem got compounded due to the pandemic which prevented people from gathering together. Feeling that a solution needs to be arrived at, K Sivaprasad, professor, Department of Ship Technology, Cusat, submitted a request on the prime minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ web page. Following this, the Indian Postal Department decided to launch a pan-India project that will see Vishukaineettam being sent via e-payment to those in Kerala. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative by the postal department in the state.
“At my place, we have a tradition that sees the children preparing everything at the temple for Vishu. However, since 2020, the tradition got disrupted due to the pandemic,” said Sivaprasad. According to him, Vishu used to be a time when the young and the old mingled. However, since uncertainty still remains over physical meetings, gifting kaineettam personally has become an issue, he added.
“This prompted me to submit the suggestion on the web page, which invites suggestions from the public. So, I requested the PM to instruct the Indian postal department to initiate a Vishukkani Money Transfer Scheme. I also wrote a letter to the Minister of India Post Ashwini Vaishnav regarding this matter,” said Sivaprasad. The idea was to see that the tradition doesn’t die out, he added.
Hence, this Vishu, those residing outside the state will be able to send kaineettam to their kith and kin in Kerala via Indian Post, said Vijaykumar K V, assistant postmaster general who is coordinating the project.
According to him, bookings under the project began on Tuesday. It will be on till Sunday.
“So, far, we have received more than 1,000 bookings and more enquiries are pouring in. This scheme can be used by anybody living outside the state to send kaineettam to their kin in Kerala state only,” he added.
Under the scheme, people can make e-payments for amounts in Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. He said a commission will be charged for the e-payments. “The amounts are Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 40 and Rs 50, respectively,” he added.
“These notes will be delivered to the addressee inside specially designed envelopes that will also carry a special message. The deliveries will be made on April 13 by the postmen and postwomen personally.” But he refused to divulge the design details of the envelope saying it will be a surprise for the receivers. According to him, if the project is deemed a success, it will be continued in the coming years too.