Thiruvananthapuram: Nearly 10,000 tribals, living in backward conditions, have been initiated into the world of letters in Kerala in the past two years, thanks to an epoch-making drive by a government agency.
According to statistics, a total of 9,975 tribal people have been benefited from three programmes successfully implemented by the Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) in various hamlets across the southern state during the period 2017-19.
There has been a nine-fold increase in the number of beneficiaries from the literacy programme during the period, compared to the years 2015-17, it said.
The initiatives-Wayanad Literacy Equivalency programme, Attappadi Literacy Equivalency and Samagra- had been launched with an aim to impact a change in the lives of the marginalised group through the literacy drive.
Of the total beneficiaries, 7,565 were women, KSLM Director P S Sreekala said.
As many as 4,309 tribals had been covered under the Wayanad Literacy Equivalency programme, implemented in the socially and economically backward hamlets of Wayanad, she said.
"A total of 3,670 people have benefited through the programme implemented in Attappadi region. A total of 1,996 tribespeople have covered under the Samagra programme, launched in 100 educationally backward colonies across the state," Sreekala said.
The appointment of tribal people as instructors had a great role in the success of the literacy drive, she said.
"For the programme, we have recruited 620 instructors from among tribals, speaking various indigenous languages," the official said adding the second and third phases of the drive were progressing in Wayanad and Attappadi.
The Literacy Mission has plans to declare Attappadi a "completely literate block" by June next year, authorities said.
According to the 2001 census, the Scheduled Tribe population in Kerala is 3,64,189, which constitutes 1.14 per cent of the total population.
Wayanad has the highest number of tribals.