Keywords: environmental awareness, capacity building, institutional structure, technocratic solutions, rural areas, India, rural communities, coastal communities, environmental education, environmental management
A study on the extent of environmental awareness among rural people in coastal area of Kerala
The present study intends to analyse the extent of environmental awareness among the rural community of coastal area of Kerala. The objective of the study is to analyse the existing pattern of living and the creation and implementation of a renewed environmental education programme, designed to set off a capacity–building process for environmental management to be developed within a regional approach. The population of this study consisted of the rural people of the Anchuthengu Panchayath, the coastal area of the capital district of Kerala. A representative sample of 310 families in Ward VI of Anchuthengu Panchayath was selected. Data was collected using an environmental awareness scale and the results indicate that only technocratic solutions will not be sufficient to tackle such complex problems. One must admit that peoples' participation as an institutional structure is a stronger alternative than mere governmental poverty alleviation and environmental preservation programmes, as it not only empowers the beneficiary groups but also makes people (groups) responsive to the cost of preservation of the environment and entitles them to the benefits emerging there from.