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Teachers meet President of India

New Delhi: A group of more than one hundred neo-literate women and voluntary teachers from 26 States and Union Territories met the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. The women and voluntary teachers are part of the Saakshar Bharat Mission, which was launched by the Government of India on September 8, 2009 on the occasion of International Literacy Day.

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. The President said SHGs have been doing good work in many areas in many states, which has been obvious during her visits to various states. The group of voluntary teachers also got a special word of praise from the President. The President referred to them as people undertaking the noble job of sharing and spreading knowledge.

The Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal speaking on the occasion said the Saakshar Bharat Mission could produce even better results if it truly took the shape of a national movement involving men, women and NGOs.


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