Kathir: A mission towards creating knowledge hubs in tribal hamlets of Kerala

Kathir is an initiative of the Kerala State Forest Development Agency and is being lined up as a space of wisdom

An initiative that aims to adopt and transform nearly 150 tribal hamlets into cultural and learning centres is being lined up in Kerala. The initiative, christened ‘Kathir’, is the brain child of the State Forest Development Agency (SFDA), which is an autonomous body of the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department.

The agency was constituted, back in 2010, to cater to the overall supervision of the Participatory Forest Management (PFM) activities by strengthening forest-dependent and tribal communities, developing new models of participation, providing adequate training, orientation programs, research and publications.

Libraries, career centres in tribal hamlets

The State Forest Development Agency’s Kathir is widely seen as a space of wisdom and goes hand in hand with the Mission Knowledge initiative. Kathir aims at organizing libraries, cultural and career orientation centres for tribal hamlets under various Forest Development Agencies in the state.

An SDFA source pointed out that, through the project, the State Forest Development Agency would look to adopt and transform nearly 150 tribal hamlets in the State into cultural and learning centres. The mission will be established in the state as a public consortium in collaboration with various universities and educational institutions.

Kathir seeks public participation

Kathir has also welcomed participation of the general public in the project by donating books, funds and other logistics.

Through the project, SFDA expects to improve reading habits among the tribal communities, especially tribal students, motivating tribal youth to attend schools and to take up higher studies to build a fruitful career, creating a knowledge hub in each tribal hamlet, supporting tribal youth and students in skill development through training and allied activities.

The project has been kicked off in association with the Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, Kalady. Nearly 2000 books will be donated to the library at the event. A Public Service Commission coaching centre for the tribal youth will also be launched.

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