Adult illiteracy is one of the greatest problems which our country is facing. The problem arises due to the lack of education among younger generation. There are many people in our country who do not receive education because of poverty, lack of educational facilites or social conditioning. Keeping this problem in mind, the National Literacy Mission was started in 1988. As a result many adult education programmes came into existence throughout the country.

The aim of such programmes is to provide functional literacy to the people. To fulful this aim many adult education centres and libraries have been opened. Many non-conventional methods like theatre, bhajan and Kirtan are being used to make adults literate, particularly in the village. Thus adult education can be called a kind of social education. It makes everyone in the society as better one.

There are many voluntary agencies which organise Mahila Mandals time to time in order to reach out to the women. There are further more programmes in existence such as Literacy Distance Education Programmes the National open School and Open Universities.

They all provide opportunities to those people who wish to further continue their higher education. The distance education programmes use various means for imparting education. Some of which are availability of video and audio cassettes at the regional centres all over the country, regular telecast of various projects dealing with wide range of subjects etc. Tvs and Radios are installed in the rural areas so that these programmes may get success.


Numerous programmes on health and family planning, etc. are being telecasted and broadcasted to bring the illiterates in the mainstream so that they can acquire knowledge of over population, personal hygiene, children, etc. The slow speed news bulletin broadcasted from the All India Radio is of great value for the new learners. It provides them with information of events in our country as well as the world.

There are also SITE and INSAT programmes which have contributed a great deal in the field of education. To remove illiteracy the government also involves the school and college students. These students during their holidays engage themselves in social work and teach the illiterate people and thus extend a helping hand in spreading adult education.

As a result of all these programmes and efforts literacy rate has been increased no doubt and some states like Kerala have achieved almost ninety one percent literacy rate. But at the same time we have many states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa which are still backward with low literacy rate. We have to do a lot to uplift their condition.

In our country, illiterate people are still more than the literate persons. And due to illiteracy, they are facing many handicaps in their day to day lives. This increases our responsibility a little more. It is not the duty of the government only to spread education among the illiterate lot but it is the duty of ours too. Let’s join our hand in this holy task and educate those who do not know how to read and write.