Youth are the driving force behind social change in any country. The number of youngsters entering mainstream politics is on a rise for the past several years and some of them have already made a mark on the national front. The youth, by their very freshness, exuberance and optimism, are the harbingers of change. Voicing for the people and amending laws for the improvement and betterment of society, Hibi Eden, the youth leader of INC is all set to conquer both the people’s heart and election once again with his undiminishing demeanor. He is known for being frank and generally considered beyond the intrigues and manoeuvres associated with the political class. Hibi Eden, will be contesting the 2019 elections as the UDF candidate in the Ernakulam LS seat against former Rajya Sabha MP, P. Rajeev of the CPM party.
‘Young Turk’ of Congress Party:
Hibi Eden was only 27 years old, when he made his entry into the parliamentary politics. A sitting MLA from the Ernakulam Assembly constituency, Hibi Eden was first elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly from Ernakulam District in 2011. He defeated the Left Democratic Front candidate, Dr Sebastian Paul with a margin of 32,437 votes which is the highest ever majority in the Assembly elections of the constituency. In 2016 assembly elections, he was re-elected for the second time as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Kerala from Ernakulam constituency.
Hibi Eden comes from a political family. His father, Mr George Eden, was a Congress leader, two- time MP and represented Ernakulam Constituency for 12 years uninterruptedly. He was the image of a poor man’s politician who was accessible to all sections of people. Hibi Eden, whose childhood revolved around the Congress workers and leaders, entered the political arena as the worker of Kerala Students Union (KSU) in 2000 when he joined Sacred Heart College for his pre-graduation course. He was elected as the President of Sacred Heart College Unit of KSU in 2003. In 2004, Hibi was nominated as the President of the Ernakulam District Committee of KSU and continued in the post till he was promoted as the President of the KSU State Committee in 2007. It was under his leadership, KSU organized a variety of programs and fought against the anti-student policies of the then Left Democratic Front in the state.
Casting his Spell:
Hibi Eden is always under scrutiny for his constructive and innovative style of protest against the Government. Hibi continued his role as the State Committee President of the Kerala Students Union until December 2008. During his tenure, he catered to the welfare of the students and strived hard towards its achievement. One of his most notable protest was in 2008 when he led an aggressive campaign against the LDF government in the entire state. The LDF government tried to infuse Communist and Marxist ideologies in the young minds through a chapter in the class Seven Social Studies text book. Under Hibi’s leadership, KSU brought out a parallel text book to protest against government action. The LDF government had to withdraw the text book following the protest. During his tenure, he also led a protest for SC/ST students’ hostel renovation in 2008, to improve the deplorable living condition of the SC/ST students all over the state. He also protested against the Banks refusing student loans which united the public anger against the banks, following which the government intervened and solved it.
A Rare Breed of Politician:
There have always been amazing young people who do inspiring things to help others. Hibi Eden is one such inspiring leader who has always worked towards the betterment of society and its people. He always has the mesmerizing power to gain trust and confidence. In 2009, he was selected as the president of NSU (I ) – the National Students wing of The Indian National Congress, where he served as the vocal advocate of students’ rights across the country. Under the leadership of Hibi, KSU brought the Higher Education Reforms to the forefront by organizing seminars across the state involving the senior academicians and student organizations. He says that his stint as the NSU President and being a MP has helped him to view the political arena in a larger page.
Hibi Eden’s outlook and thoughts always center around how to achieve the due rights of the people. By dint of his hard labour and long-standing struggles, Hibi has been able to amend many rules inorder to benefit the people. He has received exceptional guidance and support from the best he could seek and it has helped him in many such critical scenarios. He believes that it is the responsibility of any administration to protect the life and property of the residing public and development will be only possible by resolving the concerns of the public. He has been involved in the Trade Union sector strike where he raised his voice for the protection of labour rights. He also extended his support to the Puthuvype strike, which is a people’s combine spearheading movement against the proposed LPG import terminal at Puthuvype.
Beacon of Simplicity:
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This maxim holds a great deal of merit in today’s life cluttered with chaos, pain and stress produced by undefined goals and purposes. Hibi Eden follows simplicity in his day to day lifestyle. Hibi believes that, by changing our life into a simple lifestyle, we can create clearer goals, have a full concentration on our actions, and get more things done. He derives this quality from his father who interacted with people of all races without showing any kind of prejudices. Like his father, he want to become the ‘Voice of the Common People’.
Contributions to the Society:
Under Hibi Eden’s leadership, the city saw many developments in the recent years. Some of the completed projects were:
- Durbar Hall Ground Renovation
- Ernakulam Market Canal Beautification
- Renovation of KSRTC – Thiru Kochi Bus Terminal- Thevara and KSRTC Bus Stand- Ernakulam
- Beautification of Ernakulam Boat Jetty Bus Stand
- Setting up of Thriveni and Neethi Medical Stores in Chittoor
- Hope On Hope Off Boats and Various Boat Services
- Setting up of Children’s Theatre at Children’s Park in Ernakulam
- Installed High Mast Lights at Various Places
- Various projects conducted in Ernakulam General Hospital
- Completion of BM and BC Tarring of Kathrikadavu Pipeline Road after 30 Years
- Designed ‘Queens Way’ at Gosree – Chathiath road
- ‘Saukhyam’- Super Speciality Medical Camps was organized where 45000 people benefitted and free medical aid was provided.
- ‘Thanal’- A programme where twelve were houses constructed and handed over to flood victims. Work of many houses is still under progress.
Hibi Eden has many upcoming projects in his plan for the development of the city.
EnVisioning Ernakulam 2030:
Hibi Eden formulated ‘Envisioning Ernakulam 2030’, a comprehensive vision document for the development of the district. The comprehensive development plan has been developed under the guidance of Ernakulam Former District Collector and International Labour Organisation Secretary, M. P. Joseph. The development project will be divided into 23 domains and discussion of the same will be held.
The vision points include Industries and jobs, Integrated transportation system, Infrastructure, Women Issues, Ernakulam Knowledge hub, Environment and Waste Management, Ernakulam Media City, Tourism, Public Health and Wellness, Finance Hub, Coastal Area Development and Fisheries, Sports, Differently abled and Anti substance use. The project is divided into 14 point visions and an extensive discussion was conducted on the topic with distinguished people from more than 23 sectors of the district.
Enhancing Kumbalangi Tourism:
Hibi Eden aims to initiate an extensive tourism project which depicts the charm of the city. The project will include first model tourist village Kumbalangi, Pizhala, Kadamakkudi, and the historical Fort Kochi. A comprehensive plan will be developed by incorporating various regions with tourism potential. An exclusive tourism plan will also be developed for a distinctive experience for the tourists visiting and sailing to Kochi in cruise ships.
Proper Waste Management in and around Kochi:
Waste Management has become a biggest issue for the Kochities and Hibi Eden will focus more on waste management around the city. The plan includes developing a masterplan which involves digging up more canals and drainage systems, ensuring segregation of waste materials, reducing maximum usage of plastics etc.
Dreaming of a more Developed City:
Hibi Eden is all positive as he believes in his strength and struggles. His promise to the people is that if he is provided with the opportunity to represent Ernakulam in the Lok Sabha, he will try to bring in development conclaves with inclusion of more experts from all fields. The aim is to discuss development projects for Ernakulam, implement the same and make the city an attractive people friendly one with more and better amenities.