To mark International Women’s Day, Indian educationist Sunita Gandhi has invited volunteers from all sections of society to take up the one-hour one Word Literacy Challenge’ where volunteers commit an hour to teach an illiterate learner (preferably female) to read and write her name. After completing this Name Literacy Challenge, volunteers are encouraged to sign-up for the 30-hour ‘Complete Literacy Challenge’ to make their learners completely literate and numerate at the foundational (Standard 3) level.
According to data from National Statistical Office (NSO), between July 2017 to June 2018, India’s country-wide female literacy rate is 70.3 percent, while the male literacy rate is estimated at 84.7 percent.
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Gandhi, who is the founder of Global Dream Programme, Global Classroom Private Limited (GCPL) & Global Education & Training Institute (GETI), explains, “Female literacy is vital to our country’s socio-economic development. Teaching them how to read and write would result in a huge social transformation. Empowering women and educating them translates to educating an entire generation. A well-learned woman also ensures there is the literacy that runs in her family on the one hand and overall quality of human life on the other.”
She also stresses the importance of starting with the name. “Our first name is our identity, our signature, and knowing how to write can make an illiterate person immensely confident and full of self-esteem. We invite school and college-going students, working and retired professionals, home-makers, corporates, civil society organizations, and volunteers from all sections of society to participate. You can change someone’s world with one word.”
She herself became the first volunteer to take up the challenge and taught a female learner, Punita, to read, write and sign her name within an hour. To sign up and for instructions for the Name Literacy Challenge, visit sns. global dream. guru. (IANS/SP)