Vice President of India said eradication of illiteracy should become a people’s movement

New Delhi, Dec 19: The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged all stakeholders, including the private sector, to come forward and supplement the government’s work in the field of adult education and skills training. Stressing the need to make every adult literate, he also highlighted the need to focus on digital literacy and financial literacy among the masses.

Addressing the gathering after presenting the prestigious Nehru and Tagore Literacy Awards in New Delhi today, the Vice President said that it was disappointing that despite making great progress in various fields like IT and digitization, India still has the largest number of illiterate persons in the world.

The Vice President of India calling for urgent steps to address this challenge, he wanted the literacy drive to become a people’s movement. Every educated youth in villages and colonies should come forward and teach at least one person from their localities or communities how to write and, how to operate digital devices and how to avail themselves of benefits of government schemes.

The Vice President of India  termed it as their PSR – Personal Social Responsibility. ‘Each one-teach one’ should not merely remain a slogan, rather it should become a motivating force for the youth, he said.

Calling for eradicating illiteracy in mission mode, Shri Naidu also advised the schools to encourage their students to begin adult education drives in their areas on weekends. “Students should be given some extra marks for such activities,” he said.

Praising all awardees for their noteworthy contribution to the cause of adult education, the Vice President asked everyone to resolve to make India a fully literate and educated nation. “Literacy and education liberate people.

They serve as the basic instruments of change and progress,” he said. Apart from illiteracy, he also emphasized the need to address various other challenges on priority such as poverty, urban-rural divide, social discrimination and gender discrimination.

Noting that high rates of literacy are directly related to a country’s economic progress and the quality of life of its citizens, Shri Naidu suggested that in a developing country like India, literacy is even more important as it helps in better implementation and outcome of various developmental programs.

Terming literacy as a precondition for skill education, the Vice President said that it not only instills confidence in a person but also helps in making one’s social life more active and dignified.

Appreciating all stakeholders for India achieving near universal Gross Enrollment Ratio at Elementary Level, the Vice President expressed his happiness over the fact that Indian girls have higher school enrolment rate than boys at primary level. “We need to move forward from universal functional literacy to skill education and lifelong learning,” he added.

Praising the New Education Policy- 2020 for its due emphasis on various aspects of adult education, Shri Naidu said that this approach opens new vistas of growth and development through availing lifelong opportunities of socio-economic and cultural development.

“It recommends multiple avenues including crowd funding and utilizing online and app-based technology, satellite based television channels, online study resources and libraries for the development and promotion of adult education centers,” added.

Congratulating the recipients of the Nehru and Tagore Literacy awards, the Vice President hoped that they would continue with their work to realize the vision of a ‘Shikshit aur Samarth Bharat’ – an Educated and Empowered India.

It may be noted that the Indian Adult Education Association (IAEA) has been conferring the Nehru Literacy Award since 1966 and Tagore Literacy Award since 1987 to individuals and institutions that have made noteworthy contributions to the field of education and national development.

Prof. P. Adinarayana Reddy and Prof. M.C. Reddeppa Reddy were conferred with Nehru Literacy Awards for the year 2019 and 2020 respectively, whereas Prof. Anita Dighe and Smt. Nishat Farooq received Tagore Literacy Awards respectively for preceding two years.

Prof. L. Raja, President, Indian Adult Education Association, Shri Suresh Khandelwal, General Secretary, IAEA, Shri K.C. Choudhary, Advisor, IAEA and others were present on the occasion.


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