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DEFINITION OF ILLITERACY: According to the United Nations, Illiteracy is the inability to read and write a simple sentence in any










Every issue that our society faces is like a link of a chain. Each issue is connected to another, either directly or indirectly. The chain of issues in this society that we live in, the strongest link of that chain is illiteracy. Illiteracy is the mother of all issues as it gives birth too many other issues like poverty, unemployment, child labour, female feticide, population burst and many more. It is very hard to digest that the land of the Vedas is one of the countries with the highest illiteracy levels and shows the inability of our government to utilize programs like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and National Literacy Mission. Even countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and the like have achieved, in lesser time, a much better percentage of literacy. Literacy is a reasonably good indicator of development in a society. Spread and diffusion of literacy is generally associated with essential trait of today’s civilization such as modernization, urbanization, industrialization, communication and commerce. This fact can be

53 %. while Bihar has the lowest with 47. Several efforts have been made on part of the government to deal with illiteracy. who can both read and write with any understanding in any language. is kept away from schools. The social system in India promotes education for the male gender while the female population. The National Policy of Education -1986. Kerala has the highest literacy rate which is 90.clarified as all the developed countries like America and Canada have very low illiteracy rates. IMPACT OF ILLITERACY IN INDIA: Illiteracy in India is characterized by wide gaps between the urban and rural populations.92 %. As per 2001 Census.96% and female literacy rate is 54. there is a wide disparity in literacy. declared that the whole nation must pledge itself to the work of eradicating illiteracy. The rural population depends mainly on agriculture and the rate of illiteracy is high. A person aged seven and above. Turkey and Iran have a very high rate of illiteracy.28%. The difference between the highest and the lowest literacy rate in India is very high. is treated as literate.38%. Even amongst the male and female population. World Bank studies have established the direct and functional relationship between literacy and productivity on the one hand and literacy and the overall quality of human life on the other. whereas countries like India. The National Literacy Mission came into being in 1988 and started striving to involve all . particularly in the 15-35 age group. The male literacy rate is 75. the overall literacy rate of India is 65. while the urban population is more of the ‘employee class’ and also more educated. especially in the deep interiors of the country.

providing for compulsory and free education of children up to 14 years of age within 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution. terrorism and under development. The country had failed to implement the provisions of Article 45. The Supreme Court in its 1993 ruling held that children had a fundamental right to free education. this is not the fault of a corrupt government. and the “right to education” were incorporated in the Constitution as a fundamental right. A literate person is aware of all his fundamental rights and duties. The 1992 Education Policy envisaged free and compulsory elementary education of satisfactory quality to all children up to the age of 14 before India entered the 21st Century. Literacy enables a person to think rationally. Our government is of the people.sections of the community in the literacy endeavour. India is developing but at a very slow rate.P. it is due to this problem of illiteracy only.J Abdul Kalam gave his assent to the Constitution (83rd Amendment) Bill. 2000. to be understanding. for the people and by the people. Literacy is the ultimate solution to fight problems like communalism. Ex – President A. but what is the use if people can not even make the right choice? . to be more responsible and to make his/her own decisions.

Its guidelines Compulsory are education for children like between 6-14 this yrs . pitting poverty alleviation. food.No selection and screening process to choose preference over candidate . and children’s participation in primary schools. Amidst this gloom.SOLUTION TO ILLITERACY: Illiteracy can bring even the most powerful nations down. health etc. Neglecting the issue of illiteracy can hurt the development of India very badly. and bride burning and so on. They fail to perceive literacy as part of the development process. the government should first remove the problem of illiteracy by introducing effective programs with proper implementation and budget. family planning. a recent welcome measure has been the passage of the Right to Education bill. above it. our leaders and people’s representatives give literacy a very low priority. to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. so if we are to become a developed nation. shelter.Rs 10. as an endeavour to improve the quality of life. women’s emancipation. clothing. It is ironical that even today. during this session of Parliament. dowry. population growth. work. as part of democratisation of political power. as the process of building awareness among the weaker sections. They are unable to appreciate the relevance of literacy in matters like infant mortality. as the arrangement to give their due. and social evils like child marriage. immunisation.000 fine if any child prevented from going school .

whose aim is to provide a platform to educated Indians to provide assistance in basic education to the unprivileged children.-No program physical punishments. but more efforts will be needed to implement it properly.States need to plan techniques to monitor advancements in the . ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- . Our motto should be “each one teach one”. As we have seen all these years.Roping in private schools to keep 25% seats reserved at entry level -Banning capitation fees. Its now turn of the youth to step up and take the responsibility on their shoulders to take this nation towards the light of literacy. only directions and guidelines cannot resolve any crisis in the country Not only the government. but every literate citizen should contribute in battling with the demon of illiteracy. . if we are to become a developed nation. “Teach India” will connect educated individuals with the specialist education providers. It is a commitment that has taken decades to get fulfilled. One of the initiatives is “Teach India”.