Literacy plays a key role in the overall development of a nation, and although the nation’s literacy rate has increased to 74.04 percent, as per the Population Census of India 2011, from a low 12 percent at the time of India’s independence from British rule, it still holds the position of having the largest population of illiterate adults in the world. And for a country that prides itself on economic growth and endless possibilities, these statistics are disheartening.
The government has taken up several initiatives and schemes to enable education at all levels such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, providing free education to economically distressed people in certain villages and towns, and setting up schools and hosting numerous state literacy campaigns. In other areas, citizens have taken it upon themselves to educate the younger generation by any means possible. Harekala Hajabba, a fruit-seller, started an education revolution in his village in Mangalore, a family of farmers in Bareilly donated their land for the construction of a high school in the village, and now one of the country’s leading solar panel manufacturers is doing their bit to promote education among people for whom education is a privilege
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Waaree Energies, an alternative energy firm, recently launched an initiative to promote and facilitate education for citizens across all social strata called ‘From Darkness to Light.’ They kickstarted their social campaign earlier this week by donating ‘Solar Lanterns’ to children of labourers residing in Behram Baug’s slum district, in Andheri (west), Mumbai. “One of the major reasons for illiteracy in India is poverty,” comments Hitesh Doshi, Chairman and Managing Director of Waaree Energies, speaking to the Times of India. “Despite being on of the fastest growing economies in the world, our country still suffers from educational discrepancies among various strata of society. Lack of proper schools in most rural areas are some of the reasons why children from poor families fail to get proper education.,” he added.
Children being denied education and put to work to support the family financially is not a new phenomenon in India, we come across such cases almost on a daily basis all around us. The terrible cycle of poverty and illiteracy is one that is hard to break and in times of distress, children are often pulled out of schools and made to find jobs. Doing their bit to help solve this problem, the firm provided the children with solar-powered lamps for those nights when electricity cuts and bad connections leave them in the dark unable to carry on with their studies. “With this endeavor, the company intends to spread its support for education and make people aware of its importance in every individual’s life,” reports TOI. Referring to the children of Behram Baug, Doshi adds, “most of them are forced to work alongside their parents as labourers or factory workers just so they could manage at least one meal per day. In a bid to curb illiteracy, we at Waaree Energies have created ‘From Darkness to Light’ to promote education rights of these children, and help them reach their goals via proper facilities.”
Representational feature image courtesy of Project Chirag via www.thealternative.in