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KERALA ON STAMPS
KERALA - THE GOD'S OWN COUNTRY THROUGH INDIAN STAMPS
EDUCATION IN KERALA
Bom on 1 st March, 1909 in Kuttanad, Alleppey, the young Panicker showed a keen interest in reading newspapers and books. Not only did he read them himself, he also read the daily news to groups of illiterate people of all ages. In a small room given by the local cooperative society in his village, Panicker started a reading center called Sanadanadharmam Library. This was the little pebble which was to have a major ripple effect. An admirer of Mahatma Gandhi,
Panicker was inspired by the Mahatma’s words that
" illiteracy is a curse and shame of the country and it should be wiped out as early as possible "
. Social historians of the state are of the opinion that the cultural revolution following the social emancipation movements initiated by Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali, V T. Bhattathiripad and others was the outcome of Panicker’s library movement. He walked through the state contacting men and women everywhere, generating awareness. The idea, inspiration and leadership for making Kerala the first totally literate state of the country came from Panicker and his KANFED. The state-wide popular movement called 'Sakshara Keralam' through a time-bound intensive campaign involving thousands of voluntary workers achieved success on 18th April, 1991
P.N. Panicker’s life gave credence to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s observation that " an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man ". A frail khadi-clad old man, he left a shadow that has grown over the years making him a legend in his own lifetime and thereafter.
The Government of Kerala observes 19th June annually as Vayanandinam (Day of Reading) with a week-long series of activities at schools and public institutions to honour the contribution of P.N. Panicker to the cause of literacy and education.
The National Literacy Mission has been inspired largely by the work of this frail man who converted a simple slogan of "Read and Grow" into a powerful movement.
Date of Issue : 19-06-2004. Denomination: Rs.5/-
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