Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP)
( 1996 , India )

...for its major contribution to a model of development rooted in social justice and popular participation.

The best test of a country's future is the edifying impact of the classroom, the extramural attainments and the scientific temper generated in the youth.


The foundation of KSSP, which literally means Science Writers’ Forum of Kerala, can be traced back to that of a Science Literary Forum in 1957 by a group of concerned activists and science writers. KSSP was established in 1962. By 1968, having made touch with scientists from Kerala working all over India, KSSP was a well-defined organisation with a focus on the popular communication of science in Malayalee, the local language, and had become a movement for the mass dissemination of science in Kerala.

Contact

Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad
AKG Road, PO Edappally
Kochi 682 024
INDIA

http://www.kssp.in/

Biography

The foundation of KSSP, which literally means Science Writers’ Forum of Kerala, can be traced back to that of a Science Literary Forum in 1957 by a group of concerned activists and science writers. KSSP was established in 1962. By 1968, having made touch with scientists from Kerala working all over India, KSSP was a well-defined organisation with a focus on the popular communication of science in Malayalee, the local language, and had become a movement for the mass dissemination of science in Kerala.

By 1976, KSSP had a membership of 2,600 and the following year it started to organise All India Workshops for science activities. In 1987, at one of these workshops, the All India People’s Science Network was born. People’s Science Movements, inspired by KSSP, have now sprung up all over India. In 1996, the organisation itself had 60,000 members organised in about 2,000 units and was engaged across the whole range of development issues. These include:

Education: With 10,000 teachers among its members, KSSP runs in-service teacher training, assesses curricula and textbooks, promotes pedagogic innovation, publishes science books and journals for children and runs massive Children’s Science Festivals and Teacher Exchange Programmes. KSSP was a major force behind the programme through which Kerala achieved total literacy by 1991.

Environment: One of KSSP’s objectives is to raise the environmental awareness level of the entire Kera …

The foundation of KSSP, which literally means Science Writers’ Forum of Kerala, can be traced back to that of a Science Literary Forum in 1957 by a group of concerned activists and science writers. KSSP was established in 1962. By 1968, having made touch with scientists from Kerala working all over India, KSSP was a well-defined organisation with a focus on the popular communication of science in Malayalee, the local language, and had become a movement for the mass dissemination of science in Kerala.

By 1976, KSSP had a membership of 2,600 and the following year it started to organise All India Workshops for science activities. In 1987, at one of these workshops, the All India People’s Science Network was born. People’s Science Movements, inspired by KSSP, have now sprung up all over India. In 1996, the organisation itself had 60,000 members organised in about 2,000 units and was engaged across the whole range of development issues. These include:

Education: With 10,000 teachers among its members, KSSP runs in-service teacher training, assesses curricula and textbooks, promotes pedagogic innovation, publishes science books and journals for children and runs massive Children’s Science Festivals and Teacher Exchange Programmes. KSSP was a major force behind the programme through which Kerala achieved total literacy by 1991.

Environment: One of KSSP’s objectives is to raise the environmental awareness level of the entire Kerala society, through campaigns, education and popularising good environmental practice.

Development: KSSP has been involved in building up models of sustainable development, campaigning for decentralised democracy, initiating local field experiments and empowerment initiatives, analysing the ‘Kerala model’ of development (high human development despite low income) and seeking its improvement, and publishing studies of development. KSSP and its R&D Centre, the Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC) have developed a participatory resource mapping (PRM) methodology as well as a methodology for the preparation of watershed based master plans to help the local bodies in their developmental programmes.

Energy: Half a million homes have installed KSSP’s high-efficiency wood-burning stoves, saving an estimated 0.6-0.8 million tonnes of firewood per annum. KSSP also has a programme to replace a substantial portion of 20 million 60-watt light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, and is helping local governments to install small-scale hydro stations.

Communication: KSSP is India’s largest science publisher, having published 1200 books and producing 30-40 new titles per year. In 1994 its income from this activity was Rs. 2.4 million, and in 2004 Rs. 15 million, nearly 90 per cent of its total income (KSSP receives no foreign aid). Much effort goes into selling the science books from house to house, a kind of fundraising pedagogy. In addition, KSSP excels in other communication media, with massive lecture campaigns and the development of an entirely new theatre medium, ‘Kala Jatha’ or ‘Art Caravan’, through which it pursues the mass literacy campaign, which reached 60-70 million people.

KSSP is providing training to rural people, especially rural women, on small scale soap production, mushroom farming, studio pottery and the like and helps them set up small scale production and marketing facilities.

KSSP also has substantive programmes in the fields of health, women’s issues and research and development. Its Executive Committee has 65 members and at local levels there are more than 10,000 office bearers. KSSP has received a number of awards, including UNEP’s Global 500, the Vriksha Mitra and the King Sejong (UNESCO) award.

 
 

FAQ about KSSP

asked in 2005

1. What is the significance of the local languages for development in India? 

People think and communicate in the local language. Only through the local language can the ordinary people take part in developmental planning. Development has to be decentralised and hence local language should be the vehicle. A national language can integrate all these decentralised projects.

2. Kerala has achieved high human development despite low income. What are your indicators of human development?

Indicators on service sectors like health, education, food security, social equity etc. measured by 1. IMR (Infant Mortality Rate), 2. Life expectancy, 3. Literacy, access to education etc.

3. How does globalisation affect the development model you have achieved in Kerala?

Globalisation is adversely affecting the model. The basis for the model was state spending/support in sectors like health, education, public distribution etc. Globalisation forces the state to withdraw from these sectors and this may result in a collapse of the model.

4. Why is it that what is possible in Kerala is not possible in other parts of India?

It is possible in other parts of India also – but is requires more time and energy. Kerala had the advantage of some social reformers and progressive left movement as the basis for a model based on social equity. In other parts some more time may be needed to construct such a base.

5. How sustainable is a local development model in the globalised era?

A local development model if found successful has to be repeated at other places with necessary modifications. There, networks of local communities should work as a force at the regional and national level to help the people to safeguard their right to live with dignity.

6. What effect has the RLA had on your work?

The award has helped us to set up a research unit to work on education that has made substantial studies on the curriculum. The award and related meetings have helped us to learn from other groups and to affect modifications in our policies.