Panackachira Experiment

All that happened in my life has taught me something. Some of these teachings have been so profound that they brought in learning curves that altered the shape of my life.

One such episode happened in 1978.

At that time I was an Assistant Professor of English at Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Cochin.

I was also programme officer of National Service Scheme (NSS) there.

In December 1978 I happened to organize an inter-collegiate NSS camp in a village by name Panackachira.

This place was in fact a re-settlement colony of 300 landless families who were living on the borders of Kottayam–Kumily Road from Mundakkayam to Peruvanthanam.  

The camp opened my eyes to the social realities of marginalised people.

This experience was so intense that I decided to take a year off from my teaching career to work as a community organizer at Panackachira.

An outcome from this is the book entitled “Panackachira Experiment”.

After this I left my teaching career and my research work (in TS Eliot), to do a Diploma in Social Development in Canada.

With this I became a full-time NSS activist, leading to becoming the first Programme Co-ordinator of NSS in Mahatma Gandhi University in 1984.