One of the great opportunity I got from Amrita was the Students Social Responsibility project.This project aimed at improving the social skills of students by making them more responsible towards the society.We,a team of four decided to visit the tribal village at Cherukara ,a remote place at Kulathupuzha gramapanchayath, Kollam.We enquired a lot about the place and contacted the panchayath member of the colony.She helped us a lot in completing the whole project.Our aim was to understand the environment and living conditions of the people,discuss the problems they are facing and helping them in all way that we can.
We started off our journey and reached there at about 10 o’clock in the morning.We traveled through the roads interrupted by rocks and tree branches.The transportation facility over there is very weak.Bus service could be only accessible from the main road which is very far away from the spot.There are over 30 families residing in the village.Most of them belong to the Kanikar community.The main source of income to them is agriculture.They cultivate crops,vegetables,e.t.c.However, some of them had made their way to teaching and other government jobs.There is an oil palm on the way to the village which is the another source of employment for the villagers.The women find their living through small-scale works provided by the kudumbasree units.
The education of the children of the village is fully funded by the Government.At the 5th class,a test is conducted according to which the selected students are given free education till 12th class.These students stay in the hostels provided by the Government in Trivandrum.There are other schemes introduced by the Government to support the people in agriculture.The Government also built houses for them.The village is blessed with enough water resources so that there is no scarcity even in the driest seasons.Another problem faced by the people are the animal attack in their fields. Animals like pigs destroy their vegetation.The only way they could resist this problem is by fencing the field.But it is not that effective.One of the greatest risk faced by the villagers is the inaccessibility to a hospital.There is no hospital around 10 km.They had to rely on the monthly medical camps.We made the people of the village assembled in a common area and gave awareness on the importance of health.They were given proper education on cleanliness and communicable diseases.
After the discussion with the villagers, our main focus was the primary class children in the village.We taught them how to make their environment clean,save trees and avoid the use of plastics.We showed them posters and videos which described the methods of waste disposal.We showed them presentations on how to dream about a better career.The little minds were so enthusiastic that they made drawings,sang songs,danced together.
We distributed books,chocolates and writing materials among them.They were asked to write about their ambition in a chart and give a thumb print along with it.These charts were given to one of the girls who was asked to hang it on the walls of their classroom.We took pictures with them.On our way back we saw the Oorumoopan(the village representative) unexpectedly.He explained about the traditional festivals and rituals of the village.
It was a wonderful experience for us.We learned many things.We were able to understand life through a different aspect.The people of the village showed us the dedication and hard work to their jobs.Through children, we could experience the joy of the innocent minds.Their dynamism and eagerness were really appreciable.