Importance of Literacy
It is very well said that an army can't march on empty stomach in the same way a country can't be called developed with a huge illiterate population.
Literacy is very important for the development of the individual and for the nation as well. A literate or educated person has a high self esteem, he or she is fairly independent and is aware of his/her rights and duties and so he or she can't be exploited.
"UNESCO has drafted a definition of literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying context. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society."
Moreover, a literate or educated person has to develop the country, by using its resources, which an illiterate or uneducated person can't. Literacy is the biggest power one can have. A literate person is most important asset of a country whereas illiterate person is just a liability on the society. Due to illiteracy our national income is not increasing and also a huge amount of natural resources are left unused.
Not only at the national level, at personal level also, literacy is very important, An illiterate person is generally poor and also the most exploited one, since he is not able to take the advantage of the several national developmental programmes.
International literacy day is celebrated each year on 8th September with the aim to highlight the importance of literacy to individual, communities and societies.
Literacy in India-
Literacy in India is key for socio-economic progress. India currently has the largest illiterate population on earth. India along with the Arab states and Sub-Saharan Africa, has a literacy level below the threshold level of 75%, but efforts are on to achieve to that level.
There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India. The low female literacy rate has had a dramatically negative impact on family planning and population stabilization efforts in India.
Today India is food sufficient nation, a pioneering nation in space science and has nuclear technology also, but still we are not a developed nation. The major factor for it is its huge illiterate population.
Indifferent attitude of government, lack of interest and incentives among the National Literacy Misson members and also lack of awareness are the main cause of illiteracy.
For the proper growth of our country schemes like- National Literacy Mission, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Mid-day meal scheme and adult literacy programme etc should be implemented effectively.
National Literacy Mission-
The National Literacy Mission (NLM) is launched in 1988 aimed at attaining a literacy rate of seventy five percent by 2007. The total literacy Campaign is the principal strategy of the NLM for education of illiteracy. NLM is working since 1990 and it was expected that it would achieve the goal of cent percent literary, but it has not yet succeeded.
For our national growth the success of this program is very important and for that we should practice the motto 'Each one, teach one'.
Sarva Siksha Abhiyan-
Sarva Siksha Abhiyan(education to all) for total literacy campaign was launched in 2001 to ensure that all children in the 6 to 14 years age group attend school and complete eight years of schooling. An important component of the scheme is the Education Guarantee Scheme and alternative and innovative education.
Mid-Day meal Scheme-
The high dropout rate at the primary level has been a matter of major concern, Thus Mid-day meal scheme launched in 1995 it is one of the most popular scheme adopted to attract children to school.
Educated people should teach the illiterates and the slogan each one tech one should be highly practiced. Major Social reformation efforts are sometimes required to bring about a change in rural scenario. Some programmes are-
Asha for education Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya foundation