We live in an area where knowledge is growing very fast, Not only are we gaining it, but are also passing it on to our future generations. We started this work orally, but soon we felt the need of recording the knowledge. This was the beginning of writing.

The story of writing :

Early man used to communicate through signs and gestures, We still use this system of communication. Many times we say yes’ or ‘no; by nodding our head, After some time people started using their voice. They drew pictures of important things, especially animals. We can still see such drawings in some cave paintings. This was the first effort to communicate in writing, using pictures as symbols. It was easy to read these pictures. Slowly and steadily the pictures were simplified and gave birth to various forms of alphabets. The earliest examples of writing have been found in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamia is the land between two rivers, i.e. Tigris and Euphrates, in Egypt, the writing is on tombs of kings, while in Mesopotamia the writing was found on mud tablets. The writing was done with a sharp-edged knife. In some countries, like China and Japan, the system of writing is still based on picture-like letters. One has to remember and understand thousands of pictorial symbols even to read a simple book. in India, the earliest examples of writing have been found on the seals of the Indus Valley Civilisation.


We have not yet been able to read it. Then developed the Brahmi script. Most of the scripts used by the different Indian languages have actually developed from the Brahmi script. Our national language Hindi is in the Devanagiri script. The Constitution of our country has recognised 18 languages and they have their own script. We also used Urdu, Persian and Arabic scripts in our country.

The story of numbers :

Gathering and hunting were the main occupations of early man, He was interested not only in identifying the names of the animals but also their numbers. He used the system of drawing and later his ten fingers to count. Even today, the system of counting one to ten is popular in most languages. This method of counting first developed in India and was later on adopted by Arabs, Romans and other Europeans. Ancient Indian scholars discovered the idea of zero, which made the most difficult calculations easy. The system of counting in the world is based on the ancient Indian system.

The story of paper :

In ancient times, tablets made of mud were used for writing. The bark of the birch tree and palm leaves were used later for writing. A kind of reed grows in the delta of river Nile in Egypt. This reed is called ‘papyrus’ in the local language. This was used for writing. The word ‘paper1 comes from papyrus. After the invention of printing press, the demand of paper grew very fast. Different types of material were used in different parts of the world. The scientists developed the technique of making paper from wood-pulp and other materials. Today, we make paper from a large variety of raw materials. Crores of trees are cut every year to manufacture paper in .big mills, We can save trees by not wasting paper. This will also help in protecting our environment.

The art of printing :

Today millions of books are printed every year in the most modern printing presses. The development of the printing press has not taken place overnight. Earlier, the scholars used to write the books by hand. It was not possible to have many copies of such books. Then people called scribes copied these books, but the number of books was still very limited. Very few people could use and share these books, Thus the spread of knowledge was limited to a very small number of people.

China was the first country to develop the art of printing. But it was not very successful. A simple printing press was developed in Germany by Johann Gutenberg. The Bible was one of the first books to be printed in his press. The system improved with the passage of time. The invention of the printing press changed our world completely. Now it was possible to have more and more books at a very low cost. It became possible to spread knowledge to every part of the world.


The typographers made letter types in large numbers for each alphabet. These letter types, made of lead, were used to compose the matter to print books. Ink was applied on the face of these composed letter-types and then paper was pressed on them. First it was done by hand, but later on machines were developed to do the work. Gradually new and large machines were developed to do the printing quicker and at a very low cost. This helped the spread of knowledge in the world. Today, we are in the age of knowledge explosion. It is now possible to pass knowledge to the future generations through printed books.

Books for the blind :

Louis Braille developed a special kind of script, which has raised dots on the paper. This is known as the Braille script, A blind person can feel these raised dots or holes by touch. With practice and training, a blind person can easily read the matter written in the Braille script. The development of this script has helped these persons to compete with normal students even in the fields of higher and professional education. In some countries, books have been recorded on audio tapes, These tapes can be played on tape recorders. We generally call such books as talking books. These audio tapes are very useful to the blind.

Literacy and progress :

Man mostly learns from experience. He also gains knowledge and information through the programmes of literacy and general education, The literate and well-trained persons can help in the development of the resources. Most of the people are illiterate in our country. There is also widespread poverty. One of the important ways of removing poverty is to make people literate.