Phir School Chalen Abhiyan

Capability Building workshop for Older Women and Girls

The 7 day workshop on “Capability Building for Older Women and Girls“ started at IRTC, Mundur, Palakkad, Kerala on 27th January 2015. The programme was conducted as part of the Phir School Chalen Abhiyan. 24 delegates came from three states of India, namely, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Phir School Chalen Abhiyan is successfully running in the 5 blocks of these states. The workshop started with the inauguration session. The session was presided by Dr. N. K. Sasidharan Pillai (President, KSSP). He welcomed all participants to IRTC and described about various activities of IRTC. He urged them to feel the camp space as their home and learn the programmes and implement them in their respective states. Mr. Mukunda Kumar (Vise President of Mundur Grama Panchayat) inaugurated the workshop. He said Kerala’s development is actually based on the socio- cultural changes and the efforts of various social reformers. He wished all delegates will take efforts to understand the history of Kerala and work towards such a change in their states.

Mr. Jaisomanathan (National Resource Person and EC Member, BGVS) presented objectives of the camp. Following the presentation, all delegates divided in to four different groups.

After lunch all groups had separate discussions on the needs of their districts in relation to their past experiences. The discussion lasted around two hours. The discussions were based on the points which were given in the previous session. These points are namely, district profile, organization’s status, present situation of the society, socio-cultural, political and economical situation, what are the changes needed, how, we can intervene, what are the skills we needed and what you are expecting from this workshop. After the discussions all groups reassembled for a presentation and representatives of each groups presented their needs. Most of them were interested in improvement of skills to make sustainable livelihood by using the locally available raw materials. Mr. Jaisomanathan, Mr. Riswan (EC Member, KSSP), Mr. Jaisreekumar (Project Associate, CREST) and Mr. Prasanth (Social Scientist, IRTC) were also present during the discussion and consolidation of session.

Later, the delegates reviewed day long activities at IRTC and planned for tomorrow’s session. As part of the visual presentation a film named, “PK” was exhibited for the delegates.


28th January 2015

The day’s activities started at 9.30 AM. The activities began with the discussion of the film, “PK”. Delegates requested the organizers to show such films every day of the workshop. Following this discussion, Mr. Rangaswami (Engineer, IRTC) lead a visit to IRTC’s activities in the campus. In this visit the delegates got familiarized with construction of domestic and community biogas plants, construction of toilet linked biogas plants, smokeless choola, soap and toiletery items making, vermi composting, decoupage and decorative pottery, mushroom farming and jewellery works.

After lunch, delegates visited various government institutions including panchayat office, Public Health Centre, Agriculture office, MNREGA Office, Library, etc. Delegates had a discussion with Panchayat President, other people representatives and office staffs on the activities in Panchayat. Later the delegates assembled in IRTC campus and discussed about the day long activities and experiences. Following the discussion, a film named “Life of Pie” was exhibited for the delegates.

29th January 2015

Day started with a group song by delegates and reporting of yesterday’s activities. Dr. B. M. Mutafa (Research Coordinator, IRTC) and Mr. Ratheesh C. R. (Technical Assisitant, IRTC) jointly held a class on vermi composting. They did presentations and organized a discussion. Later, delegates prepared vermi-compost unit with the help of the knowledge they acquired from the class. After Lunch, a session on experience sharing in agriculture was organized. In this session, Mr. Jose Mathew and Mr. I. A. Chacko (Former Deputy Director, Agriculture) attended the programme and shared the local knowledge on agriculture with the delegates.Following this session, delegates went for a walk to know about the plants and trees in Kerala. Later, delegates assembled together and reviewed their day long activities and saw a film named, ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’.


30th January 2015

Day started with a song of delegates and reporting of yesterday’s activities. Then, delegates were divided in to three groups and each group went for different practical training. One group went to know about the production of Soap and Washing powder. Second group tried to know about the jewellery works and third group learned about mushroom farming. Mr Mahesh E and, Kumari Nimmya lead the activities. Following this session, another session started on ‘Vocational Education and Women Empowerment. Smt. Cicily joyce (Social Worker) lead the session. The day long activities came to an end with exhibition of the film named ‘English Vinglish.


31st January 2015

After daily reporting, Mr. Mujeeb and Mr. Riswan (Activists, Yuvasamithi) exhibited some science miracles against blind faith. Mr. Mahesh replied to the queries of delegates in relation to the production of handmade soaps. Following to this session, another session started on the use of ‘biogas plants and the delegates got training by making a plant themself. After lunch, delegates got a class and training on smokeless choola. Mr. Ratheesh and Mr. Sudevan respectively lead the classes. The day-long activities lasted by reviewing the film named, ‘Swadesh’.


1st January 2015

This day, delegates could use for exposure visits. The visit started with seeing KSSP Kalajatha named Nattupacha at Melattur. Delegates also visited KSSP Malappuram district office and interacted with KSSP youth activists. Later, they got an opportunity for a close view on the tradition of Kerala by visiting museum of Tunchan Paramba, where the father of Malayalam language resided in his early age.


2nd January 2015

After daily reporting, Ms. Seetha Lakshmi (Scientists) held a class on the different uses of Bamboo. Following to this, Mr. Sivadasan (Retd Engineer, KSEB) presented a class on Energy consumption. Later, the delegates visited Mundur govt. U.P School and interacted with teachers, students and PTA. The team also visited nearby anganawadi for understanding the ground realities.


Valedictory Session

In the Valedictory function, Mr. V.G. Gopi (Registrar IRTC), Prof. B. M. Mustafa (Research coordinator, IRTC), Mr. Sahabab Khan (MP, BGVS), Mr. Sivadasan (Retd Engineer, KSSP), Mrs. Lalita (B. G. V. S, Bihar), Ms. Tohid Bhano (BGVS, UP) and Mr. V. K. Jaisomanathan (EC Member, BGVS) were present. All delegates shared their experiences from the workshop. They also shared their suggestions and future programmes. Certificates were issued to all delegates in the camp.

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