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Empower minds to eradicate illiteracy



Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Mass illiteracy is India’s sin and shame and must be liquidated,” and I strongly believe that illiteracy and poverty go together. Illiteracy refers to the lack of any or enough education. It is truly mortifying to know that our motherland, India, known as the land of the Vedas and the nation that gave us epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, still struggles with illiteracy. The high illiteracy rate in India undoubtedly hampers the nation’s growth.

In my view, one of the main reasons for the high percentage of illiteracy in India is child labour, unemployment, and gender discrimination. India currently accounts for 34% of the world’s illiterate population, making it the country with the largest number of illiterates. Shockingly, only 70% of the people in India are literate, and around sixty lakh kids still don’t attend school. Education is not only about learning to read or write; it also empowers individuals, enhances self-awareness, and fosters rational thinking. Illiterate individuals can be easily influenced with negative ideas, lack consideration for others, and have lower confidence while communicating.

I firmly believe that literacy reduces crime, boosts self-confidence, and promotes democracy. The government is taking steps to reduce the illiteracy rate by providing free education facilities to those below the poverty line (BPL). Initiatives such as free uniforms, mid-day meals, and scholarship programs are also implemented to attract underprivileged children to schools. Projects like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for children and the National Adult Education Programme for adults have been launched. However, it is not only the government’s responsibility to combat illiteracy; we, as members of society, should also work towards the betterment of our nation.

To make a significant impact, we should embrace the motto of “Each one, teach one.” Illiterate individuals may engage in unlawful acts such as child marriage due to a lack of employment opportunities. Reducing illiteracy can solve many problems, including unemployment and child labour. Educated individuals can contribute by providing night classes to underprivileged children or donating old books to those in need. Students also play a crucial role in nation-building and can organise campaigns to promote education.

Let’s unite in our efforts to end illiteracy, remembering Nelson Mandela’s wise words: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Spreading awareness about education is essential to dispel the darkness of illiteracy. Together, let’s make a promise to decrease the illiteracy rate and eradicate this evil from its roots. Every effort made by an educated person will help diminish illiteracy and create a brighter future for our nation.