“Bringing school dropouts back to the world of letters”: Thalir Trust, a school founded by three tribal youths – Kerala

The backyard school of Thalir, a trust formed by three tribal youths at Nadavayal in the district, has set an example in bringing school dropouts back to the world of letters without receiving any financial assistance from the government.

Each tribe has its own ethnic language, culture and folk literature, says Manglu Sreedhar, founder of Thalir. “They express themselves quite confidently within their community. But, when their children join school, they do not feel at ease with the new culture. The language, too, is unfamiliar to them,” she says.

This sense of alienation led to many tribal children dropping out of school in the district. “If the authorities will introduce a new curriculum, rooted in the culture and language of tribesmen, we can curb the dropout rate considerably,” she says.

Ms. Sreedhar was also a dropout but, her life was changed and attained focus at Kanavu, an alternate school founded by K.J. Baby. After her informal education, she resolved to uplift tribal children.

It was during a leadership training programme at Kanthari International Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, that Ms. Sreedhar, M.M. Santhosh and K.T. Abhilash, two tribal youths in Wayanad, decided to launch Thalir. […]

As per the requests of the children they launched the backyard evening school. As many as 30 children, including 16 girls, of three tribal hamlets attend classes every day.

They are now planning to launch backyard schools in four tribal settlements in the area and have identified teachers for the purpose. […]

Apart from the school, the trust also trains children in sustainable farming, handling money, enhancement of handicrafts of each tribes and organic farming.

Source: “A chance to study again” by E.M. Manoj, The Hindu, 16 September 2015
Address: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-chance-to-study-again/article7657602.ece
Date Visited: 17 October 2022

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