Revamp National Literacy Mission to improve sex ratio: PM

April 28th, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The National Literacy Mission should be reoriented to improve female literacy and “challenge” the adverse sex ratio in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday. “The chairperson of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance), Smt. Sonia Gandhi, has recently urged that we must reorient the National Literacy Mission to focus on female literacy,” Manmohan Singh said here while addressing a national conference on Save the Girl Child.

“Female literacy has considerable multiplier effects in all areas of empowerment of our girls and our women,” he said.

“There has to be much greater focus on female literacy because the adverse sex ratio that we have today has to be challenged fundamentally in the minds of our people.”

Expressing concern over India’s poor female literacy rate, the prime minister said India’s female literacy rate was only 54 percent.

Literacy rate in India is nearly 65 percent, while the gender ratio is 927:1,000.

“Multiple deprivations all with roots in the oppressive structure of patriarchy have resulted in a bias against girls and against women.

“This is a national shame and we must face this challenge squarely here and now,” the prime minister urged the nation and every citizen.

“No nation, no society, no community can hold its head high and claim to be part of the civilised world if it condones the practice of discriminating against one half of humanity represented by women.”

The National Literacy Mission was set up in 1988 to impart a new sense of urgency and seriousness to adult education. Rural schoolteachers, students and NGOs were involved to educate adult illiterates at their own home, village and community.

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