The MSW programme insist a compulsory rural camp, which was conducted this year [2017 batch] at Mundrothuruthu (Munroe Island), a small village in the Kollam district of Kerala. The six day camp was from 20th April 2018 to 25th April 2018. The camp was named ARDHACADY’, which means the confluence of Ashtamudi lake and Kallada river”.The word also means “the confluence of students and the natives of the village”.

The camp was planned and set within less than a week, but the whole programme was successful in all means. There was three pre-planned meetings and a pre-visit before the camp. The seven committees were formed namely;

  1. Programme committee
  2. Documentation committee
  3. Logistics committee
  4. Food committee
  5. First-aid and discipline committee
  6. Transportation committee
  7. Finance committee

The organiser made it mandatory for all participates to take up some or other activities to make them engage and contribute their part for the success of the camp,From inviting chief guest and villagers for the function to the curtain fall,all the participants and contributed a lot for the happy closure.The short span of the camp had provided many to do the work in responsive manner. The village orientation and inviting the villagers for World Earth Day function had helped us to understand the mobilisation and organising a event is not a easy walk.The whole camp showed us the way to implement programme, how to stick to To-Do list and finally how to adjourn the group once the purpose is over. The visit to Gandhibhavan in the last day was an eye opener for many as it manifest a different story of social work practice.The fruit of the camp is yet to nurture as the days of introspection is long away.

Objectives of Rural Camp

  1. To make the students to understand rural lifestyle.
  2. To conduct a survey on socio-economic and educational status of people in the visited locality.
  3. To work with the people of concerned locality.
  4. To help them develop capacities and attitudes suitable for a group living.
  5. To learn the spirit of working in a team.
  6. To organize programmes and awareness campaigns.

About Munroe Thuruthu:

Munroe Island is a hidden pearl in the backwaters which is composed of a cluster of 8 islands. Each of them is separated by small water channels and lakes. Munroe Island is located about 27 km from Kollam. Munroe Island or Mundrothuruthu is an inland island located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River, in Kollam district, Kerala, South India. The island, accessible by road, rail and inland water navigation. The place is named in honour of Resident Colonel John Munro of the former Princely State of Travancore. The island measures 13.4 square kilometres (5.2 sq mi) in area.

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”-- Napoleon Hill

 Pre-camp planning

The blueprint of the entire camp was formulated in 3 pre camp meeting and 1 pre camp visit to the place. In the initial meeting,which was conducted on 17th April. Academic Coordinator Mr.Kochukrishna Kurup highlighted the basic information about the place,duration and objectives of the rural camp. The Orientation on phases of the camp was elaborated by Mrs Veena Suresh. From pre visit to the field report writing was extensively covered in that session. Later in a democratic way the Camp coordinators and Co-Coordinators were chosen .It was followed by assigning various duties to various committees.The Pre visit was planned to be carry out on 18th of April.

Teachers along with two student (Sooraj. S and Vidyasagar) visited the place to find out the feasibility of the conducting camp. The visit helped to confirm the accommodation place, to list-out electrical, plumbing, kitchen utensils requirements for the camp. During the pre visit the invitation letter for the camp inauguration was given to Principal of the LP School (Mundrothuruthu),Mr.Balakrishnan (Karutharakadavu ward member) and to Mr.Binu Karunakaran ( Mundrothuruthu Panchayat President). Remaining students were doing the assigned task like designing the flux board,taking consent letter from the fellow members…

The 2nd Pre visit meeting was held on 18th of April.

The follow up camp was to check the progress of various committees and the previsit team also highlighted the accommodation, transportation timings and the personal requirement to carry with them for the camp. The name was finalised and the banner, invitation leaflet was designed was sent to printing.

The 3rd Pre visit meeting was held on 19th april to check all the list and to the final changes in the schedule.

Committees & Responsibilities

Sl No.

Committee

Students Name

Responsibilities

1.

Camp Coordinator

Sooraj.S. and Lekshmi N

Overall coordination of the camp and to ensure the smooth function of various committees

2

Co-Coordinator

Mahadevan H and Krishnendhu B

assist the Camp coordinators and to ensure the plan of action

3

Programme Committee

Aparna Mohanan, Aardhra Suresh,

Ayyappan K

To Prepare overall Pre-Programme Schedule, Collecting the consent letter from Parent and to arrange permission letter to hostelers, evaluation of day schedule

4

Food Committee

Umadevi.L & Vidyasagar R

To List out the Groceries and vegetables required, to make Food chart and prepare food accordingly, and to do housekeeping work

5

Documentation Committee

Anjali P,

 Arun S & Arathi V

The complete documentation (both visual and written) of the camp,Design of Banner and Inaugural leaflet

6

First Aid and Discipline Committee

Sonia Susan & Nicol Hubert.

Incharge of First Aid kit and to ensure the Discipline and Punctuality of the Camp

7

Cultural committee:

 Krishna.S

 Sreehari K.K

N.Lekshmi

To schedule cultural programmes, arrangement of cultural programmes

8.

Logistics Committee:

Mahadevan H Arjun Rajeev

maintenance of checklist

9.

Transportation Committee:

Vidyasagar R
Abhijith R

To arrange Vehicle for the travel and coordinate with College Vehicle Pool

10.

Finance and Accounts:

Arjun Rajeev
Aaliyamol.J

To collect the bills and to record the expenses

The nineteen students along with four faculties began their journey in the college bus to munroe island at 12.30pm. The members reached the destination by 1.45pm.The accommodation was set in the Government LPS, Munroe Island. The members after setting up their personal belongings, hosted the official banner of the camp in front of the school by 2pm. Later after a lunch break which lasted for half an hour, the kitchen committee started to take their roles in the kitchen. Logistics committee member went to nearby market to bring vegetable and grocery which are required for the whole camp.The day was set for the preparation for the future days. Later an evaluation meeting was conducted by 9.45pm to 10.15 pm discussing on the various progress of the committees and the evaluation by each committee on the work done from the day of pre-planning. In the evaluation meeting the documentation committee was assigned with the camp news of the day. The programme committee revealed the rough schedule as set earlier.

The second day of the rural camp started with exercise in the morning 6 ‘o’clock. After that the day assigned to mobilise the community. The community mobilization was started at 10 am.where it was supposed to start by 9.30am. before the mobilization there was a meeting session which divided the students into groups and faculties explained the things that should be observed. The main agenda for the community mobilisation was to mobilise the native people to participate in the next day programme “WORLD EARTH DAY”. And inform people about the sapling and the seeds distribution. Instructions for community mobilisation also include to study community belief system,culture interacting in a professional social worker manner.we were informed to visit each houses, map the area of the locality, identify various community problems.

The fellow members were divided into four groups. In group first members: Anjali, Nicol Hubert, Aiyyappan.K, Sreehari. The second group member:Sooraj, Aparna, Abhijith. The third group: Lekshmi , Aliya, Krishna, Arun. The fourth group were Arathi, Sonia, Arjun, Vidhyasagar.

These group divided the place into four and they started to mobilise the community for the programme and also for the collection of information about the Monroe village.(about the people and their problems in the village). Each group went to more than fifteen houses.The following are the problems and opinions expressed by the villagers:

  • Poor house construction
  • Migration
  • Unemployment,(because of closure of coir-making industries)
  •  Contaminated water and they told they are not get the adequate water for almost six month in a year. They rely upon the KWA pipeline for clean drinking water.
  • Lack of facilities in Anganwadi,due to shortage of funds from Panchayat
  • Saline water is surrounded in all the four direction of the village,the people are facing the problems like “high tide ” in each six months
  • Lack of road connectivity
  • Humid and high temperature during summer reduce tourist influx.
  • People are leaving the area due to waterlogging.
  • Construction of infrastructure becomes difficult due to water transportation cost and for its labour
  • There is less crime rate in the village.
  • Drugs substance supply are high in the village. Due to the geographical structure of the village it’s easy for the people to sell and consume and can easy escape from police.
  • Majority of the people are Hindu and nearly 10 % are Christians.
  • Most of the private boat are not licensed and many of them doesn’t take adequate protective measures. Last each year death occurred due to lack of safety measures.
  •  Raman - An ex-KSFE Manager and who currently runs a school; Gurukulam. he said he had conducted a cancer check-up camp with Regional Cancer Centre. There were 164 villagers who thought that they have the symptom of cancer and came to the camp due to a well informed pamphlet mentioning the symptoms of cancer. Test were conducted and about 4 people were detected cancer.
  • Skin diseases are common disease in the village.
  • Coconut cultivation are decaying due to high salinity.That also lead to decreased the making of the coir production in this village.

Villager were mostly educated and they have the government job. But the main hurdle for their living is rise in salinity of groundwater. The problem was started after the outbreak of tsunami. This resulted the level of water in the river becoming increase. High tide and low tide makes lot of psychological and physical problems for the native people.

During Mobilization we also did social mapping. which means the visual method of showing the relative location of households, government offices, and distribution of different types of people’s such as male, female, adults, child, land, landless, literate, illiterate, job holder’s and jobless. together with the social structure and institution of the area.

This year theme of world earth day was to  End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate primarily single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.

Students started the day by cleaning the entire premises of school.The official earth day celebration kick started at 11am.The Programme  started with a prayer followed by welcome speech by Mr.Kochukrishna kurup.The inaugural address for World Earth day Sapling distribution programme was delivered by Mr.Balakrishnan (Karutharakadavu ward member) the special invitee  Mrs.Nirmala (karshakasree district winner) shared her experience in farming. Mrs.Soumya honoured the Special invitee with Silk Shawl.  Vote of thanks for the function was by Mr.Ayyappan K. Ms.Sonia Susan anchored the whole programme.

Mr. Balakrishnan planted one tree sapling in school compound. The Tree sapling and neem seed distribution was done as part of inaugural function.Around 70 saplings and 200 neem seed were distributed by the student volunteers.

Post Lunch the student were organising the evening session which was chaired by Mr.Binu karunakaran (Panchayath President). It was an interactive session which last almost 2.5hrs. Programmes began with welcome address by Mr.Kochukrishna kurup.The programme had also had important guest- Mr.Abijith (Pezhumthuruthu ward member) and  Mr.Balakrishnan (Karutharakadavu ward member)  who delivered falicitation speeches.After the interactive session Mr.Binu Karunakkaran showed us a documentary on Munroe island named “Vanishing Island”. Mr.Sooraj honored the Panchayath President with silk shawl and concluded the session with vote of thanks.

To energise the team,fellow members conducted  5 over-cricket match with most participation.the fun element and team spirit made them  to play even  at dim light. The review meeting of the day was conducted after dinner at  9.45pm.the next day schedule and the kitchen incharge,programme coordinator were informed about their duty.

The Camp newspaper team worked night long to publish their work.

Morning we went to meet Mrs.Nirmala in her home to find out more on her agriculture practice and later had a mini field visit in that area. Mrs.Nirmala started her cultivation in 2004 in her 35 cent land.she is using biofertilizer and krishibhavan is providing necessary training for her and other local farmers.She received Karshakasree award on september 2015 for cultivating various vegetables.The Vegetable and other crops are sold in local market itself.She has 120 grow bag for vegetable cultivation in her house. that is used to overcome the problems of high tide.she said the support from family and agriculture office is the key for her success. Later we visited the area to understand how the high tide has affected the whole place. The new biotoilet constructions,elevated foundation for house construction and elevated roads made us realise how tough they stay there. After having lunch back in school all fellows start practising for evening Bhajan followed by cultural activities.

We conducted home visit, historical timeline, institutional mapping and problem tree analysis through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and had interaction with the people of the village. We visited Mr.Sreekumar (Faculty, Social Work Department- Kerala University) house. We got most information about the Munroe island through Mr.Sreekumar and facilitated the entire interaction with the villagers. By the help of his parents,we got the historical timeline of the village, the developments in the recent past and the circumstances that lead to the present situation of the island.

We visited Mr.Sreekumar house at 11am and interacted with his father, who gave us detailed description of the island. Interaction lasted for almost a hour.

Historical Timeline:

Munroe island or Mundrothuruth is the island that located with the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River in Kollam district.The main feature of the island is Kallada boat race. Island consists of narrow canals, water bodies, coir weaving and coconut farming. The island was abundant with these features but at present the situation has changed.

  •  1795- established British supremacy in south India and in the princely state of Travancore
  • 1800- a resident appointed as a administrative head for the Travancore
  •  Colonel John Munroe the next administrative head of the Travancore
  •  At his period there the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River joined and formed. Then it was named as Munroe island and now it also called Mundrothuruth.
  •  1878- Dutch Church build, it was the ancient church of this island.
  •  The villager’s mostly depended on coconut manufacturing as their livelihood
  •  2004- Post Tsunami, Tsunami has changed the topography.
  • The confluence of the Ashtamudi lake and Kallada river with the sea makes water contaminated due to non-formation of delta.
  •  The low lying areas are currently under threat of high tide, low lands are being submerged in a slow pace.
  • Earlier, people used to cultivate vegetables because the muddy soil were fertile. The coconut farming becoming degraded because of the saline water. Resulted in the shutdown of coir manufacturing unit and they started to finding new jobs for their living.
  • Presences of the saline water are destroying the foundation of the houses and loose sand results in house fall off.
  • Majority of the people were educated now and they have satisfied job.

The entire team was busy in cleaning,packing and re organising the Classroom where we stayed.after handing over the keys we started our journey to Gandhibhavan. Gandhibhavan is situated on the banks of Kallada River in Kundayam, near Pathanapuram of Kollam District. This great institution is well designed; deeply devoted and dedicated to the destitute ranges from months old kids to well-aged senior citizens. They are left high and dry by the very people they count on; the deranged who move about aimlessly or without any destinations the paraplegic and the bedridden; the deaf and dumb; orphaned kids, the physically and mentally challenged and the persons who just came back from the brink of suicide; the visually challenged; the HIV affected and the cancer patients and so on in who had drifted from the set of courses of mainstream have created a world of their own and are leading a peaceful life. The group was split into two and visited entire place in shelter home. After contributing a small donation by the students we returned back to college.

Strength and Weakness Analysis of Various Camp Committees

Sl No

Committee

Strength

Weakness

 

1.

Programme committee

● Maximum organised

● Unity is within the members

● Participation of each group in all programmes

● Good support from directors

● Coordination is there

 

● In the programme organised for the people, there the involment and participation level of the people is less

● Delayed the time that we scheduled

● Needed to change the initial schedule

● Couldn’t implement the programmes as scheduled because of some changes

 

 

 

2

Transportation and accommodation

● College bus is available for the transportation

 

● The vehicle is not available for to go in field .it is adjusted with our classmate vehicle

● Confused when we reached there

● Lack of electricity in girls room, kitchen, bathroom

● Lack of water/limited availability of water- morning 4 am to 6 am available of clean drinking water, 6am to 12 pm salt/ unfiltered water

● Alternative source is100 metre away and 30 metre away line pipe water available

 

 

3

Logistics committee

● Well organised and availability there

 

● Kitchen stuff limited

 

 

4

Documentation committee

● Divided and assigned each work to the members of the documentation group

● Captured all programmes photos

● Taken and recorded the information revealed in all session of meetings

● Can observe the time differences that scheduled and actually done

 

● Lack of obtaining complete information

● Communication gap between information’s

● Lack of proper audio recordings

 

 

5


Food Committee

● Coordination is there with the members

● Other committee members are participated and cooked

● Full support is there

 

● Insufficiency of water

● Insufficiency of utensils

 

 

 

6

Finance and Accounts Committee

● Coordination of the members and faculties

● Correct updation of the bill

● Settlement of bill as soon as possible

 

● Lack of immediate access to bill

● Missing of bills

 


 

7

 

First Aid and Discipline Committee

● Maintained the discipline in the camp

● Provided first aid to those in need

● Punctuality was maintained through announcements through the sign of whistle

 

● Lack of coordination with time

● Not able to gather the whole members at the mentioned time

 

Event Details
Date: 
2018-04-20 09:00 to 2018-04-25 16:00
ORGANIZED BY:
School: 
Department of Social Work
Campus: 
Amritapuri