The world marks International Literacy Day as the day to highlight the importance of literacy. September 8 is nominated by UNESCO to spread the importance of ensuring that children have opportunities to learn to read and write. HERD Foundation addresses the challenge for promoting literacy and functional literacy too. The available statistics make us compelled to urgently address the issue of spreading literacy. Countless children, especially in rural areas have no access to education. This is why our parent body Vidya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (VSPM) takes it upon itself to provide due outreach.
Our focus is to make parents understand the inclusion of girls for basic education. Gender inequality is a fact of life, more so in the rural environment. Girls are more likely to be kept away from schools than boys. This fact further entrenches them in continued poverty. It is imperative to promote education for girls and we stress the role of education for them to understand the importance of building their own futures. With the kind of political will and momentum that has been put in place, we hope to ensure that all children and especially girls get the chance to study and learn to secure promising futures.
This year’s theme for International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Sustainable Development’. HERD Foundation continues to highlight the role of literacy in promoting sustainable development. We ensure that rural people in particular learn to be decisive in economic, social and political empowerment. Actually, HERD Foundation was established with this very theme in mind. Our core values include literacy as an agent for change towards sustainable development for all.
VSPM continues to ascertain education as a basic right for all. With this in end, we work towards fulfillment of our dream of an educated populace in our region. Our role has primarily been that of starting schools in rural areas so that the village folk can access basic schooling for their children. Gradually we are also setting up colleges to help kids experience the academic challenges of a developing world. Thus HERD Foundation promotes literacy by working directly for wider development goals.
Literacy offers equal employment opportunities. It is to this end that we have been working steadily. We have made youngsters in our area realize that their earning potential increases significantly when they apply themselves to earmarking their preferred area of study. It is in this context that we are keen to work towards vocational education courses and even skill enhancing courses that will help them earn their livelihoods. HERD Foundation stands clear on this issue even though the road might appear uphill. However we are certain of the benefits that will be achieved in due course by offering literacy and education for the future of our country.
“Literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development…literacy not only changes lives, it saves them.”
Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO