8th September has been proclaimed as the International Literacy Day by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), with aim of highlighting the importance of literacy among communities, societies and individuals.
To confer the academies, President of India, Pranab Mukherjee and Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani along with Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha and Dr. Ram Shankar Katheria, awarded Saakshar Bharat Awards for best performing institutions to mark the occasion of International Literacy Day.
More than 3.65 crore adult learners were certified as literates and more than one crore beneficiaries mobilised and facilitated to avail benefits of social security and financial inclusion schemes of Government of India.
On the occasion Smriti Irani “The International Literacy Day is not only an occasion to reaffirm our resolve to eradicate illiteracy but also to acknowledge the crucial role played by adult education functionaries and volunteers in helping us to move towards our ultimate goal of creation of a literate and sustainable society.”
In the last one year, efforts for propagation of literacy have been intensified. As a result a record number of 1.91 crore learners have appeared for assessment of their literacy skills in the tests held in March and August 2015.
Besides, the scope of literacy has been widened to include empowerment especially of women through special initiatives undertaken for their financial inclusion and social security. The strenuous efforts made by the literacy functionaries in undertaking mass campaigns to take these initiatives to the doorsteps of our target groups are commendable. These efforts have yielded notable results in facilitating opening of over 1 crore Bank accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna and mobilisation of around 93 lakh persons to avail benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna.