DREAMES (MES Drive for the Socio-Cultural Empowerment of Tribes in Attappady) A Landmark to Modernity
- To provide an integrated, sustainable approach for improving education, health, and standard of living of tribes in Attappady.
- To study the complex variables responsible for the lower level of education among tribal community.
- To assess the educational gaps and suggest suitable remedial measures for improvement of their education.
- To ensure holistic educational support for children, adolescents, and adults.
- To attain the highest possible level of the mental, physical and social health of the tribes.
- To execute poverty eradication programs among tribes.
- To empower and improve the socio-economic conditions of the tribes.
Attappady is the largest tribal settlement in Kerala. College is situated nearby educationally and economically backward area of this tribal region. Owing to lack of education and skill development, they are not becoming part of the inclusive growth. As they located in remote hills, they are largely unaffected by the developmental process. The inhibition to adopt the new methods over the traditional base and gender bias also keep them out of progress. Access to educational institutions is a major factor of their educational backwardness. They are under-resourced to meet the treatment of illness caused after the liquor and drug addiction. It is in this context we thought to conduct tribal empowerment programs in Attappady. College conducted a survey and it is noticed that they are economically backwards and their dropout rate is high. In spite of having reservations in State and Central services, their enrollment is meagre and it underlines the lack of qualified hands among the tribes.
The College is executing various activities and programs focusing health, education and socioeconomic empowerment of the tribes in Attappady. The Departments of Economics, History, Chemistry, Computer Science, Commerce, languages, and NSS of the college carry out these activities. The practice envisaged to:
- Provide awareness and motivation classes to the students.
- Started an educational institution in Attappady to fill the educational divide.
- To reduce the dropout rate of tribal children in Attappady, efforts were taken by the College and offered free undergraduate education to the students.
- Qualified guest faculty members are deputed to serve at the newly opened study centre along with the recruited one.
- Students of the college offered different classes and skill development program.
- Conducted a survey on infant mortality and health issues.
- Organized anti-narcotics awareness program by Anti-Narcotic Cell and educated them against the adverse effect of narcotics.
- Conducted anti-drug campaigns and ensured no sale of tobacco or narcotic products among the tribes.
- Provided awareness programs on health issues and hygiene.
- Health Centre: The tribes in Attappady faces serious health issues like infant mortality and they also lack access to health care facilities. With the initiative of college, a health centre was opened.
- Students and staff donated an Ambulance for emergency transportation.
- Mega Medical Camp: Three mega Health check-up camps were organized with the support of MES Institute of Medical Science Perinthalmanna. 639 tribes were benefited by the service of specialized doctors n General medicine, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Dentistry, General Surgery, Community Medicine, etc. Medicines of rupees 75,000 were distributed free of cost among the patients. Free lab tests and eye tests were also provided in the medical camp. Two permanent doctors and six nursing staffs are working in the medical centre and are paid by the College.
- Construction of Houses: Many of the tribes are landless and homeless. To address the problem NSS volunteers collected money from the students and supported in constructing their houses.
- Self Employment Training offered in grass cutting by using machines. Soap kits were distributed among the tribal families and trained them in Soap Making.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
The major constraints that we had to face during the execution of these programs were the lack of Transportation, Language barrier, Cultural barriers, Lack of tribal sensitive functionaries, Lack of Continuing Efforts, Educational attainments of tribes and Inadequacy of sufficient fund. As the transportation facilities in this area are not easily accessible, we faced difficulties in implementing these projects. Some people showed a suspicious attitude towards developmental programs and activities and they even disagree to cooperate with the teachers and students. Even though we have a centre for the health empowerment, we are in deficient of the permanent building. To handle the emergency situation we are in lacks of sufficient Ambulance service. Due to the lack of awareness of health issues, some people are reluctant to use the facilities of the health centre.