Apart from birth date of famous persona like Asha Boshle and Wiz Khalif and apart from being celebrated as victory day in Pakistan, this day has its own meaning. It is also celebrated as literacy day. It will not come as a surprise if this reminder may have slipped out of your mind. September 8 is a special day. In fact it has been a special day since 1966 when it was first celebrated. The moment was November 17, 1965 when finally September 8 was decided to be celebrated as International Literacy day by UNESCO. The memories may have faded, but the power of that magical moment must never be forgotten. And from then we have never looked back. The world’s illiteracy halved between 1970 and 2005.
“Literacy is a key driver for sustainable development” This is what unesco.org states apart from ‘Literacy and Sustainable Societies’ being the theme of this year’s literacy day. But why education and literacy? That is one of the basic question that may dart across your lobes. There are other factors that have the capabilities and possibilities to be the key driver for sustainability. But the world insists on eradicating illiteracy; It has an edge over other world’s problem like poverty, gender inequality etc. Gandhiji believed that mass illiteracy is India’s sin and shame and must be liquidated. “Literacy could be ladder out of poverty and Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope” The former statement was said by Morgan Freeman while Kofi Anan concluded the latter one. However the essence and instinct of both sayings halt to a basic intuition and that is the importance of the literacy and education.
India is a young nation and will be younger by 2020. Let me support mine argument with facts and figure. By 2020, the average age in Japan is going to be 47; China will be heading well past 40; Europe 46; United States will also pass 40 and India's average age is going to be 29. So we are potentially the people who are youthful, productive, dynamic, young population, ready to work, and transform the world, the kinds of role that, say, China played in the last generation could be ours in the next. But do we have the ability to equip the people to take advantage of this, to be the workforce of the work engine for the world? We have come a long way. The Britishers had left us in 1947 with 12% literacy rate and today we have moved to 75% (2011 data). And the leaders of our nation must be applauded for the same but it’s not the time to relax. We have to go miles. Eradicating illiteracy is not only ‘sarkari netas’ problem. It’s our fundamental duty too to contribute to our society. Our society is the mirror of our contemporary era. You may love your people and you may hate too. You may criticize your people and you may praise them. But you can never ignore them. We need to step out and scream our voice loud for the same. Help the local NGOs which are already fighting for the same cause. Help your society. This society has always matters to you a lot. Its time when you could matter to them.
Gift a book. After all a book is a gift that you can open again and again.