THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), formerly IT@School, has transformed 33,775 classrooms in the state into hi-tech ones. With this, KITE has covered 75 per cent of the targeted 45,000 classrooms under the general education protection campaign. The remaining classrooms will be made hi-tech by May. Each classroom has been equipped with laptops, multimedia projectors, mounting kits and screens. Malappuram tops the list with 3,782 hi-tech classrooms followed by Kozhikode (3,446) and Thrissur (3,085), the government said on Sunday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had inaugurated the distribution of ICT equipments under the programme on January 22.
Under the programme, KITE aims to provide ICT facilities in Classes VIII to XII of government and aided schools. 

The ‘Samagra’ Resource Portal featuring syllabus-based educational content to be used in the hi-tech classrooms is ready, KITE vice chairman Anwar Sadath said on Sunday. The General Education Department plans to train  teachers in using the portal during the upcoming vacation. Samagra is aimed at enabling effective classroom interaction in every hi-tech classroom. 

The deployment of ICT equipments in schools is undertaken through a dedicated online monitoring mechanism through KITE’s regional offices. As a follow-up to the hi-tech classroom scheme in higher secondary education, the state government has allocated Rs 300 crore in the Budget for setting up hi-tech labs in Classes I to VII in 11,000 primary and upper primary schools.

When Nalini Jameela burst onto the Malayalam literary landscape in 2005 with her book Oru Laingikathozhilaliyute Aathmakatha (2007, The Autobiography of a Sex Worker), there were indignant protests from every possible side. Guardians of morality and some feminist groups — usually at loggerheads with each other — took umbrage at what they saw as a “glorification” of prostitution. The former feared that this would have a deleterious effect on the morals of society, while the latter condemned what they saw as Jameela’s attempt to show sex workers as mere bodies for transaction. The loudest protests came from the literary establishment. The book was “prurient”, said the titans of contemporary Malayalam literature, with writer M Mukundan lamenting that great novels in the future won’t be written by great (male) authors but by (female) sex workers. As denouncements of this type have the effect of arousing rather than suppressing curiosity, the book became a bestseller: it sold 13,000 copies, went into six editions within 100 days of publication and brought its writer a great deal of international renown.

Jameela hadn’t foreseen any of this when she decided to write the story of her life. All she had wanted to do, she says, was claim some dignity for the work that she had spent a quarter of a century doing as well as expose the hypocrisy of those who denounce sex workers during the day and seek them out at night. “Men who are our clients stand against us like they’re reincarnations of Maryada Ram and paint us as the sinners. We are not doing anything that harms society. It’s labour like any other, so why is it wrong to acknowledge that openly?” she says.

It is tempting to say that the 63 year old I met at Mumbai’s National Centre for Performing Arts, where she was attending the Gateway Literature Festival, looks like an unlikely mascot for sex positivity. To give in to this temptation, however, would be to succumb to prejudices. There’s no reason why Jameela, clad in a plain cotton sari and looking every bit the ordinary Malayali that she is, shouldn’t also espouse a radical form of sexual politics. In fact, her very ordinariness — and her insistence that sex work is “ordinary” business — is what makes her stance so radical. “I know women who are progressive and free-thinking, but whose views suddenly become limited when it comes to the bedroom,” she tells me, “Women can live like Sita or like Panchali, but if you choose to live like Sita, then don’t talk about women’s liberation.”

It’s not that Jameela’s own story is uncomplicated or that she began sex work despite having choices. Born into a middle-class Ezhava family, she was forced to drop out of school at the age of nine and began to work at a tile factory to help her family through a financial crisis. Her father, an ex-military man who would blow up his otherwise adequate pension at the local thatta kada, had become an active communist and this led to her mother being fired from her job at a thread mill. In her autobiography, Jameela recalls feeling proud of becoming a “big person”. She writes, “The neighbours would ask Mother, ‘Though it is her you coddled quite a bit, isn’t it true that she’s the one who’s proving useful?’ When I heard that, in spite of all the burning in my hands, I’d still feel I was the boss.” Jameela began her career as a sex worker in her early 20s when the man she had been living with died of cancer and left her with two children to care for. “My mother-in-law demanded Rs 5 from me every day to take care of the children, and the only thing that paid well enough was sex work,” she says.

Readers who made the autobiography a bestseller in 2005 must have been surprised — and, perhaps, disappointed — to find that not only does Jameela not detail her sexual encounters, but that there were times of genuine happiness after she began sex work. There were, of course, the usual encounters with the police, as well as betrayals from friends and clients, but what emerges from the book is the picture of a woman who, with strength and humour, makes the best of what life gives her. Writer J Devika, who translated the book to English, says that this is the real Jameela. “Nalini is a very wise woman who can see through people very well. A lot has happened to her, but she’s able to forgive. She can be critical, yes, but she won’t hold on to resentment. You can see that in her writing, in how she never loses her sense of humour even when looking back at painful events,” she says.

Jameela’s second book, In the Company of Men: The Romantic Encounters of a Sex Worker, expected to come out later this year in Malayalam and in English, narrates the relations she developed with her clients, as well as stories from other sex workers. Readers can expect portraits of all sorts of men, from tender to absurd to cruel, in the book but there’s also a lot of humour in it. “I learned a lot from the first book about how to write,” she says. Following the publication of the book, there was controversy again when Jameela retracted the first version, written with the help of journalist I. Gopinath, and published a second version, which she felt was more true to her recollections. “In our eagerness to see the book published, we did not give ourselves enough time to make it perfect,” she writes in the Introduction, “Many asked me if it was right to make such revisions. I don’t know if there are rules about these things…even if there are, and I happen to be the first person to change those rules, let it be so!”

This courage to challenge rules is characteristic of Jameela. For example, when she began working as a rights activist for sex workers in the late ’90s, one of her main arguments was that sex work is a form of therapy that fulfills a real need. This was an unpalatable argument for many — then and now. She’s now retired from full-time activism as well as sex work, but she still evangelises the need to be open about sex. Her dream project is to interview people between the age of 15 and 50 about their sexual expectations and misconceptions and put it all in a book. “We are so uptight about sex education, but the fact is most of us don’t know what to expect. So many marriages fail because there is a mismatch of sexual expectations,” she says. Jameela has been vocal about these issues for many years, but it still surprises her how people react to her views, given her history. “Once when I was talking about the importance of sex education, one man asked me if I thought sex education meant giving a condom to a man and woman and shutting them up in a room.” There’s a note of outrage in her voice as she says this, but almost immediately it gives way to mirth. “Some things never change,” she says with a chuckle.

As a boy, Sijomon Joseph wanted to be a left-arm fast bowler. But Jean K. John, his coach at Kerala Cricket Association (KCA)'s academy at Mutholy, near Pala, told him to switch to spin bowling and since then there has been no stopping Sijo. The rookie came up with a mach-winning 5/84 in only his second first class game to bowl Kerala to a 131-run win over Rajasthan in their Ranji Trophy Group B game in Thiruvananthapuram last week.

Sijo has been a consistent performer for Kerala at the age-level tournaments and his impressive returns earned him a place in the Indian Youth Test team last year. “I wanted to be a left-arm pacer. My brother took me to a selection camp at Mutholy when I was in standard VIII and it was the first time I bowled with a leather ball. Till then it was only rubber or tennis balls,” Sijo told Onmanorama over the phone from Thiruvananthapuram.

Sijo was picked for the coaching camp at the KCA academy and the teenager found the going tough in the initial days. “It was the first time I was away from home and naturally I felt home sick and returned,” said the 20-year-old from Kidangoor in Pala. Sijo, who lost his father when he was only a-year-and-half old, is the youngest of three brothers.<br />

“But my coach Jean sir persuaded me to return to the academy and it was he who suggested me to turn to spin,” he said. Soon, the results started coming and Sijo made it to the Kottayam U-14 team. “I went on to captain Kerala U-14, U-16, and U-19 teams and we were South Zone champions in all three categories,” he added.

Sijo had a dream debut for the Indian Youth Test team earlier this year when he picked up six wickets in England's second innings in Nagpur. The left-hander also scored an unbeaten 62 in the first innings besides playing out a few vital overs to save the match. “It was a good experience and I got to interact with our coach Rahul (Dravid) sir. He is so cool and has no airs. He made sure no undue pressure was put on me,” said Sijo.<br />

An injury to Kerala's lead spinner K.S. Monish hastened Sijo's call-up to the Ranji team. “I was a bit anxious and could not perform well (on debut against Gujarat). But both our coach (Dav) Whatmore sir and captain Sachin (Baby) made me feel at home. They are very friendly and asked me to play without any pressure,” Sijo said.<br />

Sijo was in his element in the next game against Rajasthan. He provided the hosts with the vital breakthrough by trapping the seasoned Robin Bist in front of the wicket on the final day. “I was really happy as I could contribute to the team's success. I thank God,” said a modest Sijo.<br />

Sijo wants to chip in with his batting as well. “My batting has been a letdown in the last couple of games. But I want to contribute in the coming games,” said Sijo who is a huge fan of his teammate Jalaj Saxena. “I never had any rolemodels. But Saxena's work ethic and the way he approaches the game is something to be emulated,” added the third year BA Economics student of Scared Heart College, Thevara, whose ultimate aim is to play for Team India.

KANNUR: As the CPM and the Vayalkkilikal have positioned themselves at two sides ready to battle it out on the ground, the paddy fields of Keezhattur looks like a war field ready to explode. From a mere local issue in the beginning, it has developed into a subject for heated discussions and now the thing has grown out of control.

As the CPM is ready to conduct a march from Keezhattur to Taliparamba on March 24 and the Keralam Keezhatturilekku march to be conducted on 25, the pressure on the police is at its peak. A report suggesting a possible clash between the parties was submitted to the home department by the intelligence wing.

The whole situation looks ready to erupt, SP G Shiva Vikram had communicated with Collector Mir Muhammad Ali about the task at hand for the district administration. A prohibitory order is also expected as thousands of people will try to enter Keezhattur as part of the campaign in which 2,000 people will participate.

Meanwhile, the CPM has announced that 3,000 party workers will participate in the march organised by the party on March 24. The march will begin from Keezhattur paddy field and will conclude at Taliparamba where a public meeting also will be conducted.

Apart from the leaders, the MLAs from the district, MPs and other leaders from the coalition except the CPI will participate.

The police will give enough security cover for both the programmes. SP G Shiva Vikram and DySP K V Venugopal will be leading the police team. With the CPM hell bent on not allowing any outsiders to Keezhattur, the police will have a tough job at their hand on March 25.

CPM spreads net to trap Vayalkkilikal

Kannur: If you are a part of Vayalkkilikal, then there is every chance that you will not be allowed to do your work as the CPM will interfere and stop you from doing that. With the party is in no mood to forgive the indisciplined former supporters, Ratheesh Keezhattur, brother of Suresh Keezhattur, tasted the ire of the party as he was disallowed from doing his job for the past one month.

 

Ratheesh, who is a headload worker at Bakkalam, has been denied his job at his work place by the leaders of CITU saying that he won’t be allowed to work as long as he stays with the Vayalkkilikal.  “The leaders said if he denounces the agitation and apologises for his mistake, he would be allowed to continue there,” said Suresh Keezhattur.

Govt should change adamant stance: Joy Mathew

Kannur: The government should make a compromise on its stand regarding the Keezhattur issue, said actor-director Joy Mathew on Friday. He was speaking to reporters after visiting the Keezhattur paddy fields and holding talks with Vayalkkili activists, including Suresh Keezhattur. Priority should be given to potable water, not bypass, he said. The CPM should be ready to change its stance regarding development. It always fails to identify the needs of the changing times, Mathew said.

 

Thiruvananthapuram: A man named Sreejith, he was fighted for justice more than 766 days. at out side the Kerala secretariat. He demanding an investigation by the CBI in to the brutal custodial death of his brother and should be given punishment accordingly. Yesterday huge number of people gathered around Thiruvananthapuram gainig massive support on social media. Mr. Pinarayi vijayan the honorable chief minister of Kerala conducted on a  family meeting on Monday evening. But Sreejith decided to continue the agitation until strong diction taken.

Minister assured that the government would take a favorable stand in the high court regarding a CBI inquiry in the case. The same assurance was also made earlier by the Kerala government. He told them they would once again ask the central bureau of investigation to take over Sreejiv’s case the CBI had turned down a similar request by the state government  in July as “it was not an exceptional case that central agency’s investigation”.

Sreejith has been arrested on may 19,2014,  Arrest for thievery. The next day he admitted Thiruvananthapuram medical college. He died in 21 may 2014. Police argued that he had poisoning in the sell.

However the state police complaint authority (SPCA),which had investigated the incident, recommended  action against the police officers concerned after pronounced that Sreejive has been subjected to custodial. 

 

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