International Literacy Day, first observed in 1966 and now included in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals program, was established in order to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.
Every year on September 8th, UNESCO observes International Literacy Day. The main aim is to gain global awareness on the issues related to child and adult literacy. Literacy is the best remedy is a phrase used by UNESCO in its banners, as literacy is central to the right of all children to an education.
In India, the literacy rate is 77% and there is a sizeable disparity at a gender-wise and state-wise level.
Reading Programs in India
On International Literacy Day, let’s look at two organizations that are doing their bit for kids’ reading efforts:
Pratham Books runs an annual storytelling campaign called One Day One Story on International Literacy Day where Reading Champions from across India conduct storytelling sessions. The campaign aims to get ‘a book in every child’s hand’. Two books are selected for this venture- this year it’s Satya, Watch Out!, a Level 2 book written by Yamini Vijayan and illustrated by Vishnu M Nair for younger kids, and Puchku Seeks a Song, a Level 3 book written by Deepanjana Pal and illustrated by Rajiv Eipe for older kids. You can sign up here.
A Story A Day
Another initiative that has to do with reading books is the #AStoryADay initiative launched by Pehlay Akshar. Stories that are narrated are shared with children from underprivileged backgrounds and helps give them a headstart in English learning.
A couple of stories from children’s books at the Pothi.com Store are part of the #AStoryADay initiative. Here’s a story from Footprints on the Moon read by the writer Ishmita Menon.
In India alone, over 300 million children have been unable to study owing to the pandemic, so such initiatives are the silver lining. Tell us about any worthy reading initiatives you think we should know about.