Honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, conferred Saakhar Bharat Awards 2016 on 50th International Literacy Day at the national level function in New Delhi today.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that achieving universal literacy is not possible without mass participation. If we follow the principle of ‘Each one, Teach one’ success can be achieved in this direction. He said that India continues to have a large population of illiterates. It is time for us to identify the critical areas that need to be addressed. Joint action by Government and Non- Government organizations is necessary so that we can generate momentum to achieve hundred percent literacy. He said that literacy movement is a continuous cycle as regular follow up is necessary to not only make people literate but also keep them literate.
Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Praksah Javadekar, presided over the function. Union Minister congratulated all the awardees who have contributed to cause of reaching out to unreached. Union Minister called upon to dream for a mission – ‘Saakshar Bharat, Samarth Bharat’ and work with a motto of ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat’. On the occasion of International Literacy Day, Union Minister also said that we must consider important sensibilities like financial literacy, legal literacy, and electoral literacy; through this we can achieve empowerment of people.
Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, delivered the message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion. “A foundation for human rights and dignity, literacy is vital for poverty eradication, for gender equality, for more inclusive and sustainable societies. This is why we launch today the Global Alliance for Literacy, to mobilize investment and promote innovative initiatives, with a focus on gender and new information and communication technologies.” He also added, “Literacy is a foundation to build a more sustainable future for all – this is UNESCO’s message.”