Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad

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ശാസ്ത്ര സാഹിത്യ പരിഷത്തിന്റെ ചിഹ്നം
Slogan Science for Social Revolution
Established 1962
President T.Gangadharan[1]
Headquarters Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Membership Over 60,000
Notable awards Right Livelihood Award 1996

Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar 1988[2]

Homepage www.kssp.in/
Finance Own generation through publication and sale of books – an annual sale of Rs. 4-5 million (150,000 dollars).
Publications 4 monthly periodicals with a total circulation of about 100,000, 30-40 books with a total face value of Rs. 4-5 million.
Structure Unit, subregion, district and state level committees; subcommittees – annual general councils and elections
Sponsored R & D work Through an Integrated Rural Technology Centre supported by Government of India and Govt.of Kerala.
Major Divisions of work Education, Environment, Health, Energy, Art, Literacy, Publication, Planning, Development, Issues of Women, Networking and Research

Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP) (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.[3] At the time of its founding in 1962 it was a 40-member group consisting of science writers and teachers with an interest in science from a social perspective. Over the past four decades its membership has grown to over 60,000 individuals, in more than 2,300 units spread all over Kerala.[4]

Introduction[edit]

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 popularize science and extend its benefits to the common people. KSSP held that a privileged minority was monopolizing the benefits of science and technology and its results for their own profit at the expense of the majority. KSSP chose as its mission, the challenge of arming people with the tools of science and technology so that they can reverse this process. Thus in 1974, KSSP decided to become a people's science movement and adopted "science for social revolution" as its motto.[5] Over the past four decades it has grown into a large people's science movement with a membership of about 60,000, drawn from all walks of life, and distributed in about 2,300 units within the state of Kerala. Over the years, it has also expanded its fields of interest and activities to almost all fields of human endeavor. The KSSP is involved, broadly in three types of activities: education, agitatative (sic), and constructive(sic), in areas like environment, health, education, energy, literacy, micro planning and development in general.[6]

Presently T.Gangadharan is the president and T.K.Meerabhai is the general secretary. Intellectuals such as M. K. Prasad, R. V. G. Menon, Kavumbayi Balakrishnan, B. Ekbal, K. Pappooty, M. P. Parameswaran, Kunhikkannan TP, etc. have been past presidents of the organization.

Goals[edit]

Science Publicity Vehicle

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 so 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[4]

Views[edit]

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 impoverished or facing the threat of impoverishment. It understands that science and technology today serve as efficient tools in the hands of the minority, the haves, in exploiting the majority, the have-nots. On every issue, KSSP takes a partisan stand for the majority consequently against the minority. It strives to arm the majority with the weapon of science and technology in their fight against impoverishment, and against exploiters. Educating people is enhancing their power to understand and analyze social issues in a scientific way, and to help them to play a more active role in transforming their society. If science and technology become a tool in the hands of the majority, that will bring about a radical change in society. KSSP's slogan is "Science for Social Revolution".[4] KSSP, as a people's science movement follows the Nehruvian-Bernalist perspective on science established in the 1970s and shaped the Malayalee public's engagement with modern science.[7]

Publications[edit]

KSSP publishes two monthly magazines, Sastrakeralam (for secondary school students) and Sastragathi, and a biweekly, Eureka[8] (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 main magazine. Also KSSP's major contribution is in publishing science books in Malayalam with 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.

Research[edit]

IRTC[edit]

KSSP, through its activities for more than two decades, understood the need for a research centre. Hence, in 1987, it established theIntegrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC) at Mundur in Palakkad District. It develops or modifies technologies developed elsewhere to suit rural needs. Presently it concentrates on solid waste management, watershed based development projects, skills development training, soap making, mushroom cultivation, ornamental fish culture, rabbit rearing, pottery related activities, agriculture, water and soil testing, and mechanical engineering among others.

Kerala Padanam[edit]

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 The Kerala Study-How Does Kerala Live? How Does Kerala Think?. It covered about 6000 households in the state. The activists spent hours with each family to understand their lifestyle and thoughts. The findings follow. 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% of the people belong to the upper middle class and control their state of affairs. More and more people are moving towards extreme poverty and the rich minority are growing their wealth. The findings have been published in a book with the same title as the survey Kerala Padanam-Keralam engane jeevikkunnu Keralam Engane Chinthikkunnu.

Products[edit]

The KSSP has developed a number of self-reliant products and has been marketing them though its units and the local offices of the Parishad Production Centre and the Samata Production Center which are attached to district KSSP offices.[9]

Hot Box[edit]

Hot box is an energy efficient therrmocol box which keeps the temperature constant for hours, saving energy and fuel. It is ideal for rice cooking and for keeping normal food items hot. Rice is cooked in boiled water. The boiling point of water is 100 °C (212 °F) and will not increase with further heating. When rice is cooked normally, the fire is maintained until it is cooked. If the water temperature can be maintained at 100 °C (212 °F) without further heating, fuel is saved. This is what the Hot Box is designed to do. Rice is cooked in water until it has boild and the bowl is put in the Hotbox until it is fully cooked.[9]

Improved Choola[edit]

It saves one third of fuel (wood). It also keeps 90 percent of the smoke out of the kitchen by expelling it through a pipe.

Decupage[edit]

Beautifully painted clay and terra cota vessels used as flower pots etc.

Portable Biogas Plant[edit]

IRTC, the research wing of KSSP has launched yet another product , the Portable biogas plant. This helps with the proper disposal of waste and conserves energy. The new equipment has many advantages and added features that other portable gas plants now availbale on the market do not have.[9]

Soap, washing powder[edit]

Home made products distributed through KSSP branches.

Academic Research on KSSP[edit]

KSSP, being the largest people's science movement in India, has inspired many scholars to do research on various aspects of the organisation and its perspectives. The major works are listed below;

  • Isaac, T.M. Thomas and B. Ekbal. 1988. Science for Social Revolution: The Experience of Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishat. Trichur: Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishat.
  • Varughese, Shiju Sam. 2017. Contested Knowledge: Science, Media, and Democracy in Kerala. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
  • Zachariah, Mathew and Sooryamoorthy. 1994. Science for Social Revolution? Achievements and Dilemmas of a Development Movement: The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad. New Delhi: Visthaar Publications.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""കെ.പി. അരവിന്ദന് പ്രസിഡന്റ്പി. മുരളീധരന് ജന. സെക്രട്ടറി". www.kssp.in. Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  2. ^ "Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP)". Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  3. ^ Olle Tornquist (March 1995). The Next Left?: Democratisation and Attempts to Renew the Radical Political Development Project – The Case of Kerala (NIAS Reports). NIAS Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-8787062404. 
  4. ^ a b c "About Us". Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad. Retrieved 23 August 2016.  CC-BY icon.svg This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under a Attribution 2.5 India (CC BY 2.5 IN) license.
  5. ^ http://www.kssp.in/page/about-us
  6. ^ http://www.kssp.in/page/about-us
  7. ^ See for a detailed discussion, Shiju Sam Varughese. 2017. Contested Knowledge: Science, Media, and Democracy in Kerala. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
  8. ^ "Magazines | Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad". www.kssp.in. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  9. ^ a b c "Products". www.kssp.in. Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad. Retrieved 2016-08-20.  CC-BY icon.svg This article contains quotations from this source, which is available under a Attribution 2.5 India (CC BY 2.5 IN) license.