Regrets that one-third of Indians still remain uneducated
NEW DELHI: President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday stressed the need for eliminating large-scale illiteracy among women and regretted that despite efforts at reducing the rate of illiteracy since Independence, one-third of Indians remained uneducated.
The President was speaking at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan where she met neo-literate women and voluntary teachers from 26 States and Union Territories. They were part of the Saakshar Bharat Mission, which the Union government launched on September 8, the International Literacy Day, to reduce the number of illiterate women over the next five years.
Interacting with the group, Ms. Patil pointed to the challenge ahead, mentioning that of the one-third illiterates, half were women.
It was therefore absolutely necessary to eliminate large-scale illiteracy among women in the country.
She was happy that after her address to Parliament earlier this year, the Saakshar Bharat Mission was launched. Besides imparting literacy, the Mission would offer women skills development. She called for the involvement of self-help groups in the process.
“The President said the self-help groups were doing a good work in many areas in many States. The group of voluntary teachers also got a special word of praise. She referred to them as people undertaking the noble job of sharing and spreading knowledge,” said a Rashtrapati Bhavan official.
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the Mission could produce better results if it became a national movement involving men, women and non-governmental organisations.