IDUKKI: That Chakkupalam panchayat president Antony Kuzhikkadu is a force to reckon with is proved to the hilt as he is working on an ambitious project to make Chakkupalam a Karate literate panchayat and produce an impressive array of Karate kids. A Black belt holder himself, Antony had earned rich dividends in his life capitalising on his skills.
The panchayat has already embarked on the mission to teach karate to all in the panchayat free of cost. It is a full house due to the excellent response from women.
A man of force, finesse and flexibility, there is tremendous pressure on him from all sides to start a parallel session to meet the demand. Women having teenaged daughters are very much worried over their security and are in the forefront of sending them to the class, he told ‘Express’. The panchayat is seriously thinking to consider the proposal to begin the new session in August.
The panchayat is taking an earnest initiative to train each and every woman, mainly girls, in Chakkupalam in the martial art to instill confidence in them to counter any aggression.
The panchayat would become cent percent karate literate if majority of men and women folk learn the basics of taking on any attack on them.
To start with, the panchayat is concentrating on children and had started offering free coaching to boys and girls in 2013. A total of 150 children in the age group of 10 to 18 are trained at the panchayat community hall from 5 pm to 6 pm. Out of them, 75 are girls. An instructor has been employed who is paid ` 10,000 by the panchayat per month, he said.
Those undergoing training have shown considerable improvement in their concentration level and studies, he said. Antony had started learning karate as early as 1982. Since then, he pursued the art unwavering and determined until 1992, when he earned the Black belt coinciding with his marriage. This instilled tremendous confidence and was a morale booster for him to take a plunge into politics as an Independent in the panchayat elections in 1995.
The very first election saw him becoming the president as out of nine members four were Congress and four LDF. With LDF backing him for the post, he became the president.