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The Kerala Model

February 3, 2008

Since I hail from Kerala, I have had the unique opportunity to see the effect of the Kerala Model first hand and I am happy with what I see.Many people come to the state to study this abstract idea, atleast the foreigners whom I have met from time to time go over the same litany.

Notice the fact that I used the word “Study”. Yes they come to Kerala hoping to study the same and they spent all their time in a classroom or in the library going over books and reference material and what not.

This article is not written to give you a statistic account nor is it to give you an account of the levels of standards in human development that we have.But the main aim of these five Kilo lines of simple English words is to give you the feeling (or culture) that is prevalent among malayalees.

The first thing you notice about Kerala when you enter it from out of state is the greenery. It hits you literally in the face and you feel good about it.I have often traveled from Chennai to Cochin, and I wait for the moment, the train crosses over from Coimbatore (in TN) to Palakkad (Kerala offcourse).Yes, we are helped a lot by the geography of the place and the monsoons, but this is how, my state has been from time immemorial. People are proud of this fact and try hard to maintain the cleanliness of the place.

Another thing that is very noticeable is the fact that some union is protesting some rule everyday. Considering the fact that we guys have a union for almost everything, and there are just a mere 365 days in a year, something is happening everyday in the center. One just has to visit the Secretariat in Trivandrum to get an experience of the same.

The bourgeois on one hand, will certainly not like this, and it shows in the level of industrialization in the state (which is very low). But on the other hand, when I look at the state of affairs, the common man is happy. He earns enough to maintain a decent standard of living; his dignity is intact and he is at peace with the world.The average malayalees is a proud man. He generally values his dignity and self sustenance beyond anything.Marx once said “Workers of the world UNITE!!!!!!!” This is seen over here.This feeling of brotherhood is even seen in the Colleges where politics plays a very important role in shaping the life of students.

I have a friend who works for an NGO in Bihar and he told me that the average hourly wages for a normal worker is around 40 Rs but in comparison, the same job pays around 120 Rs in Kerala.Another prominent idea which stands out is education. Yearly thousands of students not only study in Kerala but they literally travel the globe in the quest of getting a degree. The major emphasis, offcourse is on primary education in the state.There is common saying that you will find a malayalee anywhere in the world and it is true actually.

Lastly, the most important thing being, Kerala has a favorable sex ratio (1,058 females to every 1,000 males) and actually the overall population is decreasing. Kerala is the only place in the world to be declared ‘baby-friendly’ by the WHO and the UNICEF.I would just like to conclude by saying that, we do have a lot of faults in our system. Industrialization, the single most important thing does not happen in Kerala and yes, the unions try to take advantage on every scenario and they are pretty hard to deal with, but I would like to sign off stating that, if the common man is happy, extremes of poverty levels do not exist, if Kerala remains as beautiful as it always has been, then I am happy.

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