Staff Reporter

ERODE: Literacy mission to educate 3.11 lakh people has been launched in the district.

The programme would be implemented in Erode at Rs. 15 crore in the next 30 months, said M. Lakshmi, director, Directorate of Non-formal and Adult Literacy Programme, at a function organised here on Wednesday to launch the mission.

Under the title ‘Sakshar Bharat’, the Directorate, along with State Resource Centre, would focus on unlettered women, who number 2.66 lakh.

The women were from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and minority communities who never came forward to have education or had their education stopped midway, Ms. Lakshmi said and added the Directorate would also impart vocational training.

“The aim is to not only provide reading and writing skills but also impart some skill that will help them make a living.” She then said Erode was chosen for the programme because the rural literacy percentage was far below the State average at 50.

Seeking the cooperation of all the 35 Government departments in making the programme a success, she added that the self-help groups could be used as a platform to spread literacy.

“Just as the SHG women are given revolving fund and economic assistance, they should also be given education or used to make others read and write.”

R. Rajan, director, State Resource Centre, Chennai, said the aim of Sakshar Bharat was to provide reading and writing and vocation training to people who had been left out in the earlier literacy programmes.

“There are some 17 lakh such people in Tamil Nadu,” he said and added that the mission was being implemented in seven districts that had less than 50 per cent literate people in rural areas. Erode was one.

The mission was launched consequent upon President Pratibha Patil’s address to the Parliament and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s address to the nation on Independence Day, he said.