Inspired by the model set by the State in development and women's empowerment, a nine-member delegation from the United Kingdom is currently touring the State.

Two members who are part of that delegation from Lifeworlds Learning, a community interest organisation from Leek, Staffordshire, visited the State-run Institute of Management in Government (IMG) at Kakkanad near here on Saturday.

Rob Bowden and Rosie Wilson, directors of the organisation, interacted with faculty members of the IMG during the day-long session.

The visitors were given an in-depth presentation on the functioning of Kudumbasree Mission by the district mission coordinator Tanny Thomas. The visiting duo wondered why men were being left out of the project.

They, however, were fascinated by the high rate of literacy as well as the political participation and warmth of the people of the State.

Mr. Bowden was candid in admitting that community initiatives in the U.K. were not as strong as they were in India.

Though Lifeworlds Learning mainly works in the U.K., it has also embarked on motivating people for participatory and community servicing in other parts of Europe and the world in general. They have started community service such as looking after elderly people, gardening service in the UK, previously done by the government.

Mr. Bowden recollected that his association with Kerala dated back to 1998-99 when he first came to know about people's participation and women empowerment programmes here. “Since then I have come to Kerala five times and this is my sixth visit to the State,” he said.

Ms. Wilson observed that though the civil and socio- economic conditions in India and the U.K. differ, the concept of decentralisation could work in her country.

Both were unanimous in their view that the achievements of India, especially Kerala, in the economic and industrial sectors have been impressive.

He also observed the increase in the number of hoardings and advertisements of fashion and jewellery. Being a neutral observer, he however was not blind to reports of family disintegration amidst growth and development.

They were hopeful of taking home valuable lessons on community service from the State. More details about their organisation can be had from the portal www.lifeworldslearning.co.uk.

Earlier, the delegation was introduced to the Right to Information Act (RTI) by Chandrabos, faculty member, IMG. Neena Joseph, another faculty member, made a presentation on the role of teachers in community activities.

K.D. Govindankutty, Regional Director of IMG, Rema.L, faculty, and P.A. Ajitha, ADS chairperson of Thrikkakara municipality also interacted with the visiting team.

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