Special Correspondent

A joint venture among NCC, UNICEF, National Literacy Mission

Taken up on a pilot basis in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, M.P.

To help increase school enrolment, spread awareness on the significance of education

JAIPUR: A pilot project to connect youngsters with the drive to promote literacy was launched here on Monday with a call to extend the benefits of literacy programmes to the disadvantaged youth and create a safe and supportive environment for developing capacities of adolescents.

The project, titled “Youth power to spread functional literacy”, is a joint venture among the National Cadet Corps (NCC), UNICEF and the National Literacy Mission. It was inaugurated here in the presence of NCC Director General P. S. Chaudhary.

The literacy project has been taken up on a pilot basis in Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Literacy programmes for the urban non-literate youth in the age group of 15 to 18 years, especially girls, are proposed to be started in Jaipur under the project in Rajasthan.

UNICEF State chief Satish Kumar said the project would mobilise the local community for ensuring literacy for the urban youth in select slums of Jaipur and advocate the utilisation of youth power for other social and developmental issues.

Dr. Kumar affirmed that the agenda set out in the programme would address the aspirations of adolescents in achieving their goals and become meaningful citizens of the country.

Against the dismal figure of 40 per cent of adolescents being uneducated, the project will help increase school enrolment and spread social awareness on the significance of education.

Lt. Gen. Chaudhary said the NCC would shortly introduce career counselling for its 13-lakh cadets across the country.

He added that the NCC would evolve a “productive approach” for executing literacy programmes, even as several corporate houses had agreed to give priority to NCC cadets in the recruitment of staff.

Education experts addressing the inaugural function at Harish Chandra Mathur State Institute of Public Administration here said the involvement of youth in the plan to spread functional literacy was expected to ensure gender equity and women’s empowerment and improve the health and hygiene standards in the State.