Anantapur: Zilla Parishad chairperson Topudurthi Kavitha holds women’s literacy dear to her heart.
An encounter with an illiterate woman, who is also the self-help group leader, at a meeting in Bukkaraya Samudram mandal, who expressed her inability to preside over a meeting as she could not read and write, inspired Kavitha to undertake a campaign for women’s literacy in the mandal. She subsequently met many such SHG women who were active in social life but were illiterate. She even learnt that the illiterate women were duped by vested interests, who made them put their thumb impressions on blank cheques.
Ms. Kavitha ordered for a survey of the village to know the status of women literacy. The survey showed that 1,500 of the 3,000 identified illiterates were women. The project was taken up on an experimental basis.
However, due to various reasons, the pilot project ended up with 40 per cent success and about 300 illiterate women became literates.
At a time when Ms. Kavitha was looking for avenues to make her dream of women literacy a reality before she completed her five year term as ZP chief, the latest Central government scheme aimed at launching a national women literacy mission came as a boon to translate her vision into a reality.
Zilla Parishad CEO G. Jayapala Reddy is also supporting Ms. Kavitha’s in taking full advantage of the women literacy mission project of the Centre.
Ms. Kavitha told The Hindu that she was aiming at cent per cent women literacy for which the Centre was giving Rs. 33.32 crore. If everything goes well the Centre has fixed 2012 as the time frame for realisation of the goal.
4.31 lakh women
According to a survey, Anantapur district had 5.03 lakh illiterates out of whom 4.31 lakh were women and 71,800 men.
By the time Ms. Kavitha lays down office, she is hopeful of realising her dream as the timeframe set by the Centre coincides with the end of her tenure.