Literacy is generally defined as the ability of a person to read and write at least one language with comprehension. Fundamentally, if an individual can read and write the language that one speaks, then that person will be considered as “literate”. So if literacy is simply reading and writing, why is it given so much emphasis in the modern world? How is it a determinant in the progress and prosperity of an individual, and society?
Although very closely linked, education and literacy are two different things altogether. While education is the process of acquisition of knowledge through readable formats, literacy is the ability to read and to write. Hence, literacy is an indispensable facet of education. An illiterate person stays deprived of education for the reason that they are unable to read and thus, fail to comprehend the texts. Subsequently, they fail to write as well. Even though it takes aptitude, intelligence, and experience to absorb each piece of information, the very step is to be able to read and write. Hence, in order to be educated, the first step is to be a literate person!
In the contemporary world, illiteracy has amplified itself not only as an inadequacy but also as a hindrance towards sustenance of a successful life by an individual, and the progress of society. High levels of illiteracy affect the integrity and functionality of a country, drastically. To highlight the significance of literacy to people and society, UNESCO started to observe 8th of September as International Literacy Day from 1966.
Recent statistics reveal that there are approximately 773 million illiterate people in the world. Illiteracy draws a parallel with unemployment, poverty, crimes, malnutrition, and poor health. Recent reports also reveal that children of illiterate parents most likely drop out of school, continuing the vicious cycle.
Being familiarized with the importance of literacy and vital statistics, let us now see what you can do to support literacy in your community.
LEARN initiative is based on 3 pillars:
The only way to eradicate illiteracy is by making resources available to the underprivileged and destitute children. This helps them in choosing the right direction from the earliest, hence not getting trapped in the ferocious sequence of illiteracy. You can support education of at least one disadvantaged child by enrolling them in proper schools for primary education. You can either do it by yourself, or support a like minded organization in the same direction. One such organization is ASRIT. The organization is running Sponsor a Childhood programme, under which they facilitate the education of children from a variety of demographics. This includes underprivileged children, children living with HIV, visual impairment, orphaned children, and children with special needs, in the hope to promise them a better future.
It is not always feasible to donate in monetary units, especially for young adults who want to bring about change. You can always help in fighting social evils like illiteracy by contributing in kind. You should instill the habit of donating old books, rather than throwing them in trash bins, or giving them out to molzeri3a. Remember that books are reserves of great knowledge. You can donate or sell old books at a local bookshop, stationery shops or donate them at a literacy charity. Similarly, you can inculcate a habit of donating other vital stationeries like exam boards, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, etc.
You can volunteer for organizations that are operating to eradicate illiteracy. It is always good to advocate for social causes and support people and institutes who are fighting for equal access of resources and opportunities. ASRIT accepts volunteers for this cause amongst others, throughout the year.
Become an ASRIT member to support Knowledge for all, and get Knowledge.