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Kovind unveils statue of P N Panicker who launched a movement for libraries and literacy

The President said that it is a unique feature of Kerala that in every village, even in the remotest villages, there is a library and people feel an emotional connect with their library, just as they feel a special connect with a temple or church or mosque or a school in their village or town.

SNS | New Delhi |

President Ram Nath Kovind today unveiled a statue of P N Panicker at Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram who made libraries and literacy a movement of the people.

Addressing a gathering, the President said P N Panicker wanted to remove the evil of illiteracy. He spread a very simple and most potent message — Vayichu Valaruka — which means “Read and Grow.”

The President said that it is a unique feature of Kerala that in every village, even in the remotest villages, there is a library and people feel an emotional connection with their library, just as they feel a special connection with a temple or church or mosque or a school in their village or town.

Libraries created by Panicker’s movement later became nerve centres of all social and cultural activities of which the literacy movement of Kerala is an impressive example.

Kovind said that the credit for libraries having a central place in the culture of Kerala goes to Panicker who connected common people to libraries. The President noted that the Granthashala Sangam started by Panicker with about 50 small libraries in 1945 grew into a large network of thousands of libraries.

He said that through this large network of libraries, the common people of Kerala could get to know the thoughts and ideas of Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali, V T Bhattathiripad and other great masters. The cosmopolitan outlook of an average person from Kerala can be traced to the library and literacy movement of Panicker.

The President said that Kerala displays India at its cultural and harmonious best. It has attracted people from all parts of the world, absorbed different cultures and religions while maintaining its distinct features.

The people of Kerala have earned respect and goodwill in the rest of India and in different parts of the world. The enterprising members of the Indian diaspora from Kerala have not only been sending large amounts of remittances home but also kept the prestige of India very high in the lands they have adopted as their work-places, Kovind said.

The service sector professionals from Kerala, especially nurses and doctors are highly respected and relied upon by people everywhere, he said.

Recently, when the Covid-pandemic affected the entire world, nurses and doctors from Kerala were among the most visible Covid-warriors in India, the middle-east and so many other regions on the globe, the President said.