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Kerala’s two cities become India’s 1st to join UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

The Indian cities, Nilambur and Thrissur in Kerala, have gained recognition from UNESCO after they became the nation’s first entrants in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. The group of global cities also includes some of the most developed cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hamburg, Athens, Incheon, Bristol, and Dublin.

The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities is an international policy-oriented network that paves way for the development and progress of other cities by sharing ideas and innovations at a global platform. The cities included in the list can benefit greatly from the exchange of ideas and solutions for development with other cities.

As per the announcement, a total of 77 cities from 44 countries have joined the UNESCO GLC. The network supports and improves the practice of information sharing to enhance learning among member cities.

Nilambur, a prime destination for eco-tourism

Nilamubur is a major eco-tourism destination in Kerala. It is primarily marked by various socio-economic patterns and a mix of urban and rural populations. The majority of the population depends on agriculture and allied industries.

It is a growing city whose objective is to promote sustainable development, gender equality, inclusivity, and democracy through community ownership. Under this initiative, the city aims to ensure employment opportunities and UN Sustainable Development Goal- 2 of ‘zero hunger’.

The city also aims to provide equal opportunity for growth to women by ensuring equal opportunities in all sectors, promoting capacity-building and reducing harassment.

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Lifelong learning initiatives will provide Nilambur with the tools to innovate in agriculture and handicrafts, promote eco-tourism and improve water management.

The city is mainly known for its development of healthcare facilities. It provides free healthcare facilities to all citizens and utilizes health volunteers to offer door-to-door treatment for bedded patients.

Moreover, the city also promotes first-aid training for students and youngsters in the area. There is also a facility of tele-medicine services for the people living in remote areas. Its composite culture of several communities about religion, caste and economy has proved to be a major factor in its enhanced diversity.

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The city also hopes to ensure equality and inclusivity by eradicating challenges related to unemployment, poverty, housing, education, livelihood and connectivity. There will be a special focus on improving skill training amid the community for better employment opportunities.

The city also provides free pre-primary education for all children below the age of six. The program also enables adults between 15 and 50 years of age to acquire the equivalent of Grade 4 in the formal education system. Special motivational sessions for children and older people is also planned to encourage them to make the use of city’s open spaces and parks for education.

This initiative also focuses on the eradication of child labour, basic health facilities for older people, and arranging training sessions for citizens with disabilities and mental disabilities.This project promotes a decentralized waste-management system and promotes recycling.

Thrissur,Kerala’s cultural capital

Thrissur is another city that has made its place on the list of UNESCO GLC. It is known as the cultural capital of Kerala. The city is also a prime destination for some famous academic and research institutions. It is also a flourishing ground in the jewellery industry, especially gold. Thrissur is the headquarters of four leading private sector banks in India and an important number of chit funds.

A standing committee is takes all the key decisions on finance, development, health, education, welfare, public works and urban planning in the city. With its support, the city intends to integrate all sectoral and economic strategies into its master plan.

As a member of the UNESCO GNLC, Thrissur will aim to provide solutions and ideas on issues related to equitable access to learning. It will also contribute to other cities in building digital learning ecosystems and sustainable development.

With inputs from ANI

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