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It Only Takes One Child To Raise A Village

Manappe sits on the verandah of her home at Thekkupana Ooru. She is unlettered she says

Manappe, an old woman, sits on the verandah of her home in Thekkupana Ooru (hamlet), Attapady, a tribal belt in Kerala, clutching a bag of beans that she has foraged for in the wild. We ask her age, she shrugs saying she does not know. With a sigh of resignation, Manappe says she has no padippu (education). She gesticulates with her thumb, explaining that she uses her digits for everything, including “voting”. For a moment, one confronts a Newtonian dilemma (as in the Hindi film) and wonders if it’s a thumb impression that sets the electoral exercise of the largest democracy rolling. Of course, it is.  Kalliamma feeding her goats at her home in Thekkupana Ooru. She pins her hopes on 10-year-old Rangappan, who is attending classes at Project Shine
But, times are a changing and, the winds of learning are ruffling and shaking up the backwardness of sleepy, laidback Attapady and propelling it to newer v…

Kanthari: A School For Social Engineers

(Photographs by Avran Ittyipe)