Literacy constitutes the backbone of development in a progressing country like India. It enhances the quality of life, awareness, and skills of people. And illiteracy has been an obstacle in India’s development since a very long time.
Illiteracy is basically defined as the inability of a person to read and write. People with this inability and with lack of knowledge in a particular field or subject are called illiterates.
Illiteracy in India is a problem which has complex dimensions attached to it. Illiteracy in India is more or less concerned with different forms of disparities that exist in the country.
There are gender imbalances, income imbalances, state imbalances, caste imbalances, technological barriers which shape the literacy rates that exist in the country. India possesses the largest illiterate population.
There are still places in our country where the children don’t even have access to basic education. This, as well as other compounded factors, have led to a high rate of illiteracy in India.
One of the primary reasons for dismal literacy rates is inadequate school facilities. The teaching staff that is employed across the government-run schools is inefficient and unqualified.
Another reason which leads to the maximum dropouts among children is the lack of proper sanitation. A study has stated that 59 percent of the schools do not have drinking water facilities. There is a shortage of teachers as well.
Literacy is one of the most essential indicators of the quality of a country’s human capital. Latest data puts India’s adult literacy rate at 73.2 percent. While the country has made significant progress in improving literacy over the years, it continues to be home to 313 million illiterate people; 59 percent of them are women.
Several steps are taken by government to improve literacy standards in India. The government conducts various scholarship examinations and provides school uniforms, textbooks and stationery in order to encourage students and adults to take up studying.
The Mid Day Meal Scheme was launched by the government in 1995 to provide students free food grain so as to improve enrolment, attendance, and retention in government schools.
Awareness campaigns were launched in rural areas to create awareness among people about the importance of education. They were encouraged to attend or send their children to schools.
The only solution is to make people aware of the need for education. If we want our country to make good amount of progress, it is important for the citizens to be literate. Illiteracy in India is one of the grave problems which need to be remedied before it becomes too huge to handle.
“Mass illiteracy is India’s sin and shame and must be liquidated”. – Mahatma Gandhi. In order to uproot illiteracy from India, every citizen must jointly work together with a single motto – ‘Each one – teach one’.