Ranjan K Baruah
No society can progress without literacy. Literacy and education are keys to development and positive changes in the society. Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. Today a total 781 million adults in the world are still illiterate – two-thirds of them (496 million) are women. Among youths, 126 million are illiterate, of which 77 million are female. It’s not only in India but there are also other places where literacy rat is low but we need to b more concerned about India and how we can promote literacy in the tion . In a country like India, literacy is the main foundation for social and economic growth. When the British rule ended in India in the year 1947 the literacy rate was just 12%. After the 2011 census, literacy rate India 2011 was found to be 74.04%. Compared to the adult literacy rate here the youth literacy rate is about 9% higher. Kerala is the only state in India to have 100% literacy rate. Other most literate states are Goa, Tripura, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Sikkim, etc. The lowest literacy rate in India is seen in the state of Bihar.
The uses of literacy for the exchange of knowledge are constantly evolving, along with advances in technology. From the Internet to text messaging, the ever-wider availability of communication makes for greater social and political participation. A literate community is a dymic community, one that exchanges ideas and engages in debate. Illiteracy, however, is an obstacle to a better quality of life, and can even breed exclusion and violence.
For over 65 years United tions Educatiol Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has worked to ensure that literacy remains a priority on tiol and intertiol agendas. Through its formal and non-formal literacy programmes worldwide, the organization works to realize the vision of a literate world for all. In 1965, UNESCO declared September 8 as Intertiol Literacy Day (ILD). Since this proclamation, schools, organizations and communities around the world have united to promote awareness with the hope to one day eradicate this ongoing human rights violation. The theme of the Intertiol Literacy Day 2015 is “Literacy and Sustaible Societies”.
A sustaible society is a society is one that meets the needs of the present generation that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, in which each human being has the opportunity to develop itself in freedom, within a well-balanced society and in harmony with its surroundings. There is no doubt that literacy is a basis for lifelong learning and plays a foundatiol role in the creation of sustaible, prosperous and peaceful societies. Literacy is a key driver for sustaible development. Literacy skills are the prerequisite for the learning of a broader set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, required for creating sustaible societies. At the same time, progress in areas of sustaible development, such as health and agriculture, serves as an ebling factor in the promotion of literacy and literate environments.
Official message of UNESCO’s Director-General stats that “new technologies, including mobile telephones, also offer fresh opportunities for literacy for all. We must invest more, and I appeal to all Members States and all our partners to redouble our efforts – political and fincial – to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustaible development. The future starts with the alphabet.”
It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to make a sustaible society for ourselves and for the future generation. This is possible when governments and others join hands together. Civil society organisations are already contributing towards the cause but there is need to be more participation from people from different parts. Corporate may also invest for the cause through its corporate social responsibility. We have to focus more on girls’ education so that they are not deprived. Mahatma Gandhi once said “educate one man, you educate one person, but educate a woman and you educate a whole civilization”. (Inputs from UNESCO’s website and feedback may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)