Delhi : The President, in the presence of Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource Development and Smt. (Dr.) D.Purandeswari, Minister of State (HRD) flagged off the Saakshar Bharat Yatra at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
The Saakshar Bharat Mission launched by the Prime Minister on International Literacy Day on 8th September, 2009, has completed nearly two and a half years. The Mission is primarily focussing on women, SCs, STs, Minorities and other disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The programme is being implemented in 1.6 lakh Gram Panchayats in 372 districts, including some of the Left Wing Extremism affected Districts. Nearly 13.5 million learners are already enrolled in the programme.
In order to ensure success of Saakshar Bharat Mission, it is necessary to create a social environment conducive to literacy as the demand for literacy does not exist uniformly in all parts of the country. Major strategies adopted by NLMA for mobilising people for literacy include use of multiple media including print, electronic, folk and interpersonal media campaigns. For an enhanced participation of learners, voluntary teachers and other stakeholders, a nationwide mobilization campaign is being undertaken by the National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA).
As part of this Campaign, it is proposed to organise a nationwide ‘Saakshar Bharat Yatra’ through a well-known Non-Government Organization, i.e., Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti (BGVS). The Yatra would include kala-jathas, audio-visual programmes, road shows, stakeholders meetings etc. The central objective of the yatra is to reach out to all the stakeholders and generate a sustainable demand for literacy which may not exist uniformly in all parts of the country The Broader themes of the Yatra will include: Literacy, Empowerment, Development, Gender Issues, Right to Education (RTE), Right to Employment etc.
The Yatra will move across the country covering all major States and it will pass through some of the backward and left wing affected districts like Gaya, Jamui, Rohtas in Bihar, Hazaribagh in Jharkhanad, Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh. The Yatra will also cover some of the difficult areas like Senapati in Manipur, Anantnag in Jammu & Kashmir, etc. In all, it will cover 22 States, 180 districts, 1000 blocks, over 16,000 Gram Panchayats.
Union Ministers, Parliamentarians, local leaders and other State dignitaries have shown keen interest in the Saakshar Bharat Yatra. Shri Kapil Sibal, Shri Kamal Nath, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Kumari Selja, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, and several other Central and state Ministers will be participating in the Yatra at different parts of the country.