“Literacy is… the road to human progress and the means through which
every man, woman, and child can realise his or her full potential.” – Kofi Annan.
On 26 October 1966, at the 14thsession of UNESCO’s General Conference, 8th September was declared to be observed as International Literacy Day. Hence, since 1967, the whole world observes it annually in a theme-based manner to highlight different aspects of literacy. In 2019, the theme for International Literacy Day is ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’. On the occasion of the International Literacy Day 2019, Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO shares an important message, "Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures, worldviews, and knowledge systems. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is therefore a key part of developing inclusive societies that respect “diversity” and “difference”, upholding human dignity.”
The observation of International Literacy Day gives a platform to the governments, global institutions, corporates and businesses, not-for-profit organisations and the civil society to spread awareness about importance of literacy. It gives a platform to address several challenges obstructing education from reaching to the last mile.
Roadblock in literacy
Poor and under-privileged socio-economic backgrounds poses as a major roadblock in the path of literacy. It is considered as one of the main reason Children remain out-of-school; because the growls of the stomach are louder than the lessons in a classroom.
There are millions of children at the moment who are unable to attend school either because they have to earn a living or have to take care of household chores when their parents go to work – a situation that is grim and alarming too; for if this is not solved, the progress of the entire world will be at stake, let alone that of a country!
To address this situation, several social organisations across the globe are directly working in this field. And when a person chooses to sponsor a childthrough these organisations, it helps to sustainably bring about a change in the literacy scenario.
Help a child to read and write!
Whether globally or locally, the service of a non-profit organisation potentially changes things for the better right from the grassroot level. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a non-profit organisation in India working for children for the past 18+ years. By implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme, it provides free school meals to children of government and government-aided schools. At present, Akshaya Patra supports education of 1,765,597 children in 15,668 schools across 45 locations in 12 states of India by providing the much-needed daily school meals.
Over time it has been observed that school meals play a significant role in improving the health and schooling of children. Several impact reports and testimonies from teacher reveals that the school meal has played a vital role in reducing absenteeism and drop-out rate among children. It has also positively contributed in increasing enrolment rate year on year.
Your choice to donate online to support school meals of children will mark an important step on this International Literacy Day. Your financial support to a non-profit organisation like Akshaya Patra will promote literacy through food and help children to read and write thereby empowering them to be resourceful citizens of the country and the world. This International Literacy Day, choose to act!
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian NGO implementing the Mid-Day MealProgramme along with several child-centric initiatives. Your support to Akshaya Patra can potentially improve lives of millions of children with health and education.
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