Neo-literate women, voluntary teachers meet President Patil

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New Delhi, Sept 22 (ANI): A group of more than one hundred neo-literate women and voluntary teachers from 26 States and Union Territories met President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

The women and voluntary teachers are part of the Saakshar Bharat Mission, which was launched by the Government on September 8, 2009 on the occasion of International Literacy Day.

Interacting with the group, President Patil 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, she said of these one-third illiterates, half are women. Therefore, it is 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. It also provides a component of skills development to women," she added.

President Patil urged the involvement of the Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the process and was happy that Panchayati Raj institutions were also part of the process.

"The SHGs have been doing good work in many areas in many states," she said.

The group of voluntary teachers also got a special word of praise from the President. She referred to them as people undertaking the noble job of sharing and spreading knowledge.

Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, who was also present, 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. (ANI)

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