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NEO literates meet with President

New Delhi: A group of one hundred and twenty neo-literate women and Literacy Managers from across the country met the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Interacting with the group, the President said that despite tangible progress having been made in reducing illiteracy since Independence, even today one-third of Indians are illiterate. Emphasizing the level of the challenge ahead, the President mentioned that of these one-third illiterates, half are women. She said it therefore is absolutely necessary to eliminate the large scale illiteracy amongst women in the country.

The President expressed her happiness that following her address to both Houses of Parliament earlier this year, the Saakshar Bharat Mission has been launched. The Mission proposes to reduce the number of illiterate women over the next five years. The President was also happy that other than imparting literacy, the Mission also provides a component of skills development to women. She urged the involvement of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the process and was happy that Panchayati Raj Institutions were also part of the process.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal appealed to all stakeholders in the country to make literacy a national movement. He pointed out that, while through the efforts of the National Literacy Mission, 12 crore people had been made literate from 1988 to 2007, there still remain 17 crore illiterate women in the country. He pointed out that as per the Saakshar Bharat Mission, which was launched by the Government on September 8, 2009 on the occasion of International Literacy Day, 7 crore Indians, including 6 crore women are to be made literate by 2012. He emphasized that India can truly progress only when all citizens, especially women, are literate.


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