हमारी संस्था प्रौढ़ महिलाओं के साथ शिक्षा और साक्षरता का काम कई सालों से करती आ रही है, इस कार्यक्रम के तहत महिलाएँ अपने ही गाँव में खुले हुए साक्षरता केंद्र में रोज़ाना आकर अक्षर, मात्रा, गणित की क्षमताओं को सीखने के साथ साथ बहुत से मुद्दों पर समझ बनाने का काम करती हैं। इन महिलाओं को सिखाने का काम सेंटर की टीचरों का होता है, जो उसी गाँव से या पास के गाँव से आती हैं और हर रोज़ दो से तीन घंटे महिलाओं के साथ बिताती हैं।
The role of literacy in the journey of a ‘citizen’ as simply someone born into the marked geography of the state, to becoming an active and participatory one is unarguably critical.
In a world where the written word is pivotal to its functioning, literacy is a starting step in gaining knowledge so as to participate meaningfully in governance systems, access entitlements, fracture discriminatory power structures as much as for entertainment or choosing careers.
In this sense, literacy and education are inalienable rights to fully engage with the plethora of spaces that the outside world consists of. Moreover, its articulation as a right remains deficient if it is age and gender specific. With this perspective towards the linkages of literacy and citizenship, Nirantar recently organised the National Thematic Consultation on Adult Literacy in the Contemporary context of Skill Building and Digitisation.
Literacy is essential to women’s lives; as a right and a skill. Literacy also constitutes an indivisible element of empowerment, especially for women from Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and other marginalised communities.
In a situation where 30 crore people are still illiterate in India, and the primary programme for adult literacy ‘Sakshar Bharat’ is approaching its closure in 2017 with limited results, the National digital literacy mission comes with a new route towards empowerment.
The objective of the National Digital Literacy Mission is to digitally literate at least one person, preferably women, in every family. The paradox of the situation, where literacy is not viewed as pre-requisite for digital literacy, goes to show how the government is working in silos and was echoed by all the participants of the two-day national Consultation on “Adult literacy and Digitalisation” organised by Nirantar.