Samwad Yatra Day 11: Report from Kozhikode (Calicut) district of Kerala

The first meeting of the day was a welcome meeting for Rajagopal P.V and the team at Seva Mandir, a model school which seeks to carry out value based education. The president of Municipal Council of Ramnatkara Mr. K.P Ashish in his address said that despite the high level of literacy rate in Kerala, there is a higher percentage of human rights violation in the state. The solution to this problem should be value-based education in schools so that the future citizens of the country are morally grounded in the values of respect for human life, dignity and human rights. Ms. P. Pushpa  the vice president of the municipal council felt that wherever the yatra meets with students, they will develop an awareness and understanding of broader social issues.

Later in the day, a rally through the city of Calicut was organized. Fisherfolk and members of women’s self help groups participated in this rally. The rally culminated in a public meeting at Gandhi Bhavan. Mr. K.Damodara a senior film personality, Mr. Musa, chairman of Gandhi Peace Foundation, Calicult and Mr. T.Balayattan, president of Kerala Sarvodaya Mandal participated in this meeting. They extended their support to the yatra.

The yatra visited an anti-liquor struggle in Tamaraserri. They have been carrying out efforts to close a liquor establishment for about 2 years but haven’t had much success due to the political backing behind the owners of the liquor outlet. The leader of this struggle, Mr. Iyyacheri Unni Krishnan explained that despite the higher importance given to education and literacy in Kerala, the opinion of intellectuals regarding the closing of liquor shops is not valued.

The last program of the day was a visit to Karunyatheeram, a centre run by a group of youth who are committed to serving a highly marginalized section of our society-mentally handicapped children. Information about their work can be found at www.healthcarefoundation.in

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