Kerala Showcase / Facts and Firsts
Vaikom Satyagraha was the first organized movement against untouchability in India. The Satyagraha movement took place in the temple town of Vaikom, Kerala, from March 30, 1924, to November 23, 1925. This movement aimed to secure access to the prohibited public areas of the Vaikom Temple for all, regardless of their caste or social status. The strike ended with the successful achievement of this goal.
Pullampara in Thiruvananthapuram district is the first panchayat in the country to achieve digital literacy. It has attained complete digital literacy status by providing training to people between the ages of 14 and 65 in the use of smartphones. Digital literacy was imparted using Android phones. In addition to common digital phone usage, villagers were also taught how to use bank accounts and other related digital services.
The Vazhappally Sasanam or Vazhappally inscription is said to be the oldest rock inscription of the Chera (Kulasekhara) kings (who had Mahodayapuram as their capital) discovered in the state. According to the inscription, the first Kulasekhara king was Rajasekharan. The inscription was written in the twelfth year (AD 830) of his rule. The inscription was found in the premises of Vazhapally Mahadeva Temple.
Kerala is the first state in the country to announce a transgender policy. The Social Justice Department has formulated a policy to ensure the constitutional rights of transgender individuals. This policy is designed to guarantee their right to equal treatment in social and economic opportunities, access to services, resources, and legal protections, as well as the right to live in peace, among others. Kerala announced the Transgender Policy on November 13, 2015.
Kerala is the first child-friendly state in the country. In 2002, Kerala achieved the distinction of becoming the world’s first baby-friendly state by promoting breastfeeding and raising awareness about its importance for the health of babies. This special recognition was awarded following the review of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) project by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Kochi City holds the distinction of being the first child-friendly city in the country.
Kerala has achieved the distinction of becoming the first fully e-governaned state in the country. This initiative is aimed at providing maximum government services to all sections of the population quickly and transparently. As part of this effort, a centralized service portal called eSevanam has been created, offering access to 885 services through the e-service portal (services.kerala.gov.in).
“Sabdatharavali,” the authoritative dictionary of the Malayalam language by Sreekanteswaram Padmanabha Pillai, marks its centenary in 2023. The construction of this dictionary was an arduous endeavor that spanned two decades, undertaken without any existing models to guide it. In 1917, the manuscript was completed and subsequently published in volumes. However, it was not until 1923, during the year 1098 as per the Malayalam calendar, that the first edition of the dictionary was officially published, consisting of 22 issues.
Technopark, the first IT park in India, was established in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital district of Kerala, in 1990. It is not only one of the largest IT parks in India but also one of the greenest IT cities globally. Currently, Technopark hosts approximately 72,000 IT professionals working across 486 companies.
Kerala is the first fully literate state, and April 18, 1991, is a day written in golden letters in the history of Kerala. On that day, Chelakodan Ayisha of Malappuram, who had recently become literate, declared Kerala as India’s first fully literate state at Mananchira Square in Kozhikode. Literacy activities spread to the urban and rural areas of Kerala, starting in the city, then in the district, and ultimately throughout the state as a whole. On June 18, 1989, Kottayam became India’s first fully literate city. On February 4, 1990, Ernakulam district became the first fully literate district in India, and, finally, Kerala achieved the status of a fully literate state.
In 1967, Kerala made history in India by establishing a special department for conducting lotteries. The first lottery ticket was released on November 1, 1967, with a first prize of Rs 50,000 for a ticket priced at Rs 1. The draw took place on January 26, 1968. Today, the Kerala State Lottery has grown into a vast network with approximately 35,000 registered agents and over 100,000 retail vendors. There are currently 7 weekly lotteries and 6 bumper lotteries in operation. The Kerala State Lottery continues to stand at the forefront of state lotteries due to the transparency in its management and the welfare measures put in place for dedicated agents.
Kerala became the first Indian state to achieve full electrification, and this achievement was officially announced in May 2017. In an earlier milestone, in February 2009, Palakkad district in Kerala became the first fully electrified district in the country.