In today’s perspective, literacy does not mean about the writing and reading capabilities only. It has gained a broader meaning. It claims to guide people towards awareness and the change which is needed in order to achieve a better way of living. The National Literacy Mission was set up by Govt. of India on May 5th, 1988 with the aim to eradicate illiteracy from the country. The targeted group for the same was people belonging to the age group of 15 to 35 years. The literacy rate of India has been recorded 64. 84% (2001 census) against 52. 21% in 1991. It has been increased by more than 12% in a decade.
Also, the literacy rate is supposed to be around 70-72% by the end of 2010 (As estimated by National Sample Survey). But the goal is yet to be achieved completely (i. e. to obtain 100% literacy). Right to education is one of the fundamental rights for the people. Education for all is the mission of UNESCO that has to be achieved by 2015. Currently, India falls below the threshold level of literacy rate i. e. 75%. The National Literacy Mission Authority has been working to achieve its goal since its establishment. NLMA (National Literacy Mission Authority) works under the ministry of Human Resource & Development.
The Govt. of India has launched several schemes to achieve the goals of NLM. The initial target for NLM was to focus on the people belonging to the age group of 15 to 25 years. There were 80 million people falling under this age group. It was a big challenge to address such a huge lot of people about literacy and its benefits. In a way, it was quite different from all technology based or economic missions. It was conceived as a social mission by all and that helped NLM to achieve the success. The other significant factor was the political will of leaders at different levels at that time.
The politicians and bureaucrats understood the importance of this mission and it has gained a whole hearted success in several states viz. Kerala, Tamilnadu, Rajasthan, Manipur etc. The idea was to convince people about their active participation, mobilization of social forces. Soon it became a national consensus. Thanks to the advertisements, sensitization of local leaders and people’s participation. Given below are some of the pioneers of success for National Literacy Mission: Literacy campaigns have been launched in almost 600 districts of India. The sanctioned products are supposed to cover 150 millions of neo-literates.
125 million people have already been made literate under this mission. Female participation (60%) is better than the male participation (40%). No. of volunteers have been increased significantly to promote the programme and help the community. One of the biggest characteristic of literacy mission was to stimulate the entire community for putting the faith that learning & literacy should become the integral part of their lives. The method of operation has been to build and develop on environment which is helpful to learn by the communities through their traditions & culture.