Neo-literates, SHGs celebrate Literacy Day

Life would not have been all good for Yashoda, if at all she was not a part of literacy movement. Now Yashoda is not just self-empowered, but also she has lit the life of 156 families by persuading the women to take their alcoholic better halves to the de-addiction camp.

It is not just the story of Yashoda, but there are thousands of neo-literates in Dakshina Kannada district whose life has changed a great deal after being exposed to the literacy movement which commenced in 1991. Another such woman from Moodushedde, B Fatima, said that her life has seen a shift from the life within the four walls of a room to taking up active participation in gram sabhas and Panchayat meetings. As she puts it, “Hailing from a poor family, I would not have dreamt of earning on my own and sending my daughter abroad. Today, I have achieved self-sufficiency and have sent my daughter abroad for work after taking loan. I have almost repaid the loan and have nothing to worry about, thanks to Neo-literate Self Help Groups.”

Like Yashoda and Fatima, another few empowered men and women shared their experiences at the district-level International Literacy Day celebration and an interaction programme on making of all literate and clean model villages jointly organised by Zilla Panchayat, District Literacy Committee, Jana Shikshana Trust and other district levelorganisations at Zilla Panchayat on Thursday.

Model district

The members of neo-literate SHGs, PDOs from model gram panchayats, NGOs, Taluk Executive Officers and others came together to discuss the ways to develop Dakshina Kannada district as a role model.

Mediating discussions, Jana Shikshana Trust founder Sheena Shetty said that the comprehensive development of the district is possible by maintaining full literacy rate, implementing cleanliness drive, overthrowing corruption and improving the condition of tribal. “All the gram panchayats should implement MGNREGS on the similar lines of Kashipatna GP in Belthangady taluk while Naringana GP should be the role model in terms of implementing cleanliness drive,” he insisted.

One of the neo-literate women, Sesamma, presently the President of Bannur Gram Panchayt, said that cleanliness should start from home. “Building toilet is of no use when people do not use it. The stereotypes should be changed,” she said.

Usage of grants

Speaking on the occasion, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Dr K N Vijay Prakash informed that he would direct the Gram Panchayats to reserve Rs 25,000 for literacy related activities.

Though the government has directed the GPs to utilise Rs 25,000 for literacy activities from the annual grant, none of the GPs are abiding by it, he said.


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