To educate illiterate women by 2012, Saakshar Bharat Mission launched

AIMING to promote literacy among women, the state government launched Centre's Saakshar Bharat Mission 2012 in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday.

Minister for Basic Education Dharam Singh Saini launched the project at a function held on the occasion of the International Literacy Day in Barabanki district — one of the chosen districts for Phase 1 of the project. Among the 66 districts chosen from Uttar Pradesh, 26 will be covered in the first phase.

The project was launched across the country on September 8, 2009 — covering 167 districts in the first phase. The two adult education programmes of the Centre — Total Literacy Mission and Continuing Education Mission — were scrapped and the Saakshar Bharat Mission was launched. The mission, which aims at making women literate by 2012, targets districts where the literacy level is less than 50 per cent.

In the state, the districts chosen for Phase I are Agra, Aligarh, Ballia, Banda, Barabanki, Bareilly, Basti, Bijnore, Badayun, Deoria, Etawah, Hamirpur, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghazipur, Mahamaya Nagar, Jhansi, Kannauj, Kushinagar, Maharajganj, Mainpuri, Muzzafarnagar, Pratapgrh, Rae Bareli, Sant Kabir Nagar, Unnao and Varanasi.

"The programme will focus on women from backward, Dalit and minority communities," said Kamlesh Priyadarshi, Deputy Director (Adult Literacy). Among the 1.56 crore women in the state, the programme will focus on the 74 lakh illiterate ones. A total of about Rs 86 crore will be spent in UP — while Rs 64.88 crore will be given by the Centre, the state will provide Rs 21.62 crore.

The project will be implemented through the Gram Shiksha Samitis (village education committees), headed by the gram pradhans. "We have already formed gram shiksha samitis in the districts which will be covered in the first phase. After the formal launch, we will kickstart the district-level programmes," said Priyadarshi.

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