Thiruvananthapuram: Nepalis, who have been part of Kerala’s workforce as security guards and pavement merchants for long, flocked to an official programme that aims to teach migrant workers Malayalam. As many as 26 workers from the Himalayan republic have enrolled in the ‘Changathi’ learning programme organised by the Kerala Literacy Mission.
Idukki district contributed 20 Nepalis to the programme while the rest came from Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod districts. They are part of 2,886 migrant labourers who have joined the four-month literacy programme.
The students’ list includes 145 women and 954 people aged above 40 years. There are 245 workers from Bihar, 459 workers from Assam, 181 workers from Odisha, 166 workers from Tamil Nadu, 121 workers from Uttar Pradesh, 94 workers from Jharkhand, 84 workers from Karnataka, 49 workers from Chhattisgarh, 46 workers from Rajasthan, seven workers from Tripura, six workers from Andhra Pradesh, three workers from Manipur, six workers from Maharashtra and one each from Delhi, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The first phase of the state-wide programme was completed earlier with significant participation from workers from Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.
The literacy mission has selected 144 instructors for the second phase of the programme, including eligible migrant workers. They are being trained for the conduct of the programme along with locals who have qualified the mission’s 12-th grade equivalent programme.
The second phase of the programme will be conducted in a local self-government body in each district, mission director Dr P S Sreekala said.
The ‘Changathi’ project was extended to the entire state after a model project was well received in Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district. As many as 1,738 people attended the first phase of the programme that began on 1 April 2018. Most of them were workers from Odisha.
The programme aims to teach participants Malayalam in just five hours of class per week. The classes are held in schools, workers’ residences and workplaces for four weeks.