Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad
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|Slogan||Science for Social Revolution|
|President||Dr. NK SASIDHARAN PILLAI|
|Notable Awards||Right Livelihood Award 1996|
Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (Malayalam: കേരള ശാസ്ത്ര സാഹിത്യ പരിഷത്ത്, meaning: Kerala Science Literature Movement) is a voluntary organisation working in the state of Kerala, India. It is claimed to be a People's Science Movement. At the time of its founding in 1962 it was a 40-member group consisting of science writers and teachers with interest in science from a social perspective. Over the past four decades it has grown into a mass movement with a membership over 40,000, distributed in more than twenty two units spread all over Kerala.
The original objective at the time of the founding of Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) was limited to publishing scientific literature in Malayalam, the local language, and popularizing science. However it was soon realized that publication and giving lessons alone were not enough to popularise science and extend its benefits to the common people. KSSP held that a privileged minority was monopolising the benefits of science and technology and it results for their own profit at the expense of the majority. KSSP chose as its mission, the challenge of arming the people with the tools of science and technology so that they can reverse this process. Thus in 1972, KSSP decided to become a People’s Science Movement and adopted “science for social revolution” as its motto.
Over the past four decades it has grown into a massive people’s science movement, with a membership of about 40,000 drawn from all walks of life and distributed in about 2,000 units within the state of Kerala. Over these years, it has also expanded its fields of interests and activities to almost all fields of human endeavor. The KSSP is involved, broadly in three types of activities: educative, agitate, and constructive, in areas like environment, health, education, energy, literacy, micro planning and development in general.
Presently Dr. NK Sasidharan Pillai is the president and VV Sreenivasan is the General Secretary. Intellectuals such as Prof. M.K.Prasad, Dr.R.V.G.Menon, Dr.Kavumbayi Balakrishnan, B. Ekbal(Dr.B. Ekbal), Prof. K Pappooty, Prof. Kunhikkannan TP,etc. had been past presidents of the organization.
The KSSP aspires to:
- Popularise science and scientific outlook among the people.
- Develop a sense of optimism in them, instill in them a sense of self -confidence that they can change the world and can build a better tomorrow.
- Expose and oppose the abuse of scientific knowledge detrimental to the interests of the majority.
- Expose and oppose the abuse of environment.
- Propose and help implement, alternative modes for development, with emphasis on equity and sustainability.
- Carry out R&D work to transform lab technologies into mass technologies
The KSSP views Indian society as one that is divided into two groups: a minority, which is continuously getting richer and a majority which is continuously getting impoverished or face the threat of impoverishment. It understands that today science and technology serve as efficient tools in the hands of the minority, the haves, in exploiting the majority, the have-nots. We take, on every issue, a stand partisan to this majority consequently against the minority. It strives to arm the majority with the weapon of science and technology in their fight against impoverishment, against the exploiters. Educating people is enhancing their power to understand -and analyze social issues in a scientific way and help them to playa more active role in transforming the society. If science and technology become a tool in the hands of the majority, that will bring about a radical change in the society. Hence KSSP slogan “Science for Social Revolution” is all about.
KSSP is publishing two monthly magazines,Sastrakeralam (for secondary school students) and Sastragathi and a biweekly, Eureka (for primary school students) and also a newsletter Parishad Vartha. Eureka and Sastrakeralam are intended for children and the newsletter for members. Sastragathi is the organization's flag bearing Magazine. Also KSSP's major contribution is in publishing science books in Malayalam, more than 700 titles already published.One of the latest books published is "Jeevarekha" by Dr.M.P.Parameswaran. In addition KSSP has already published hundreds of small booklets, related to different issues.
In 2007, KSSP conducted a survey of the living conditions in Kerala.The survey was titled'Kerala Padanam'-'Keralam engane jeevikkunnu Keralam Engane Chinthikkunnu', translated as 'Kerala Study-How does Kerala Live How does Kerala think'.The survey covered about 6000 households in the state where the activists spent hours with the family to understand their lifestyle and thoughts.The findings are very interesting.The population of Kerala has been divided into four classes or groups.Around 40% of the people are very poor and only a minority of about 10% people belonging to the upper middle class control the state of affairs.More and more people are moving towards the extreme poverty and the rich minority are expanding their wealth.The findings have been published as a book titled the same as the survey title ('Kerala Padanam'-'Keralam engane jeevikkunnu Keralam Engane Chinthikkunnu')
KSSP through its activities for more than two decades understood the need for a research centre. Hence, in 1987, it established Integrated Rural Technology Centre IRTC at Mundur in Palakkad Dist. It develops or modifies technologies developed elsewhere to suit the rural needs. Presently it concentrates on Solid Waste Management, Watershed based development projects, skill development training, soap making, mushroom cultivation, ornamental fish culture, rabbit rearing, pottery related activities, agriculture, water and soil testing, mechanical engineering,etc.
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