New Delhi, Sep 8 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday said that increasing female literacy has the potential of becoming a force multiplier in pushing forward socio-economic development of the nation.
"If we make women literate, they will be self-reliant and the beneficial impact on society will be manifold. It has been observed that where women are literate, the rate of infant mortality comes down and the quality of life improves," said President Patil, while speaking on the occasion of International Literacy Day.
"Literate women are more aware about diseases and their treatment; with better capability to deal with sickness and disease, and the confidence to approach medical assistance when required," she added.
President Patil also inaugurated an International Conference on "Women's Literacy for Inclusive and Sustainable Development", simultaneously.
President Patil also emphasized that an approach to literacy is required that is both holistic and relevant for development.
"An approach to literacy that is both holistic and relevant for development, by linking it with the learning of other skills necessary for human and socio-economic development, can bring greater benefits. Linking literacy with broader skills, such as technical and vocational skills is important," she said.
President Patil gave away the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize, the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy and the Saakshar Bharat Literacy Awards on the occasion.
The Saakshar Bharat Literacy Awards include the Satyen Maitra Memorial Literacy Awards, NLM - UNESCO Awards, and the Decadal Literacy Awards.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for HRD and External Affairs E. Ahamed, while speaking on the occasion, welcomed welcomed all participating countries in the Conference. He underlined the centrality of literacy in inclusive development.
Minister of State for HRD Dr. D. Purandeswari, who was also present on the occasion, stated that it is imperative to align the literacy programme of the country with international benchmarks. She pointed out that increasing literacy level enhance skill and learning abilities.
Fourteen countries including India are participating in the conference. Essentially the SAARC nations and the E-9 countries are participating. These countries include: Brazil, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Mexico, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal besides India.
The three-day conference has sessions on subjects such as centrality of women's literacy to inclusive and participative development, emerging international perspective on adult education and lifelong learning, innovations in design and delivery of India's adult literacy programme and International cooperation for promoting adult education. (ANI)