Adult Literacy

RILM's Adult Literacy Program aims to impart functional literacy to non-literate adults (15+ age) across India and then engage literate young adults in skill development training through various resource organizations.

According to "Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2013-14: Teaching and Learning - Achieving Quality for All", published by the UNESCO, India has the highest population of non-literate adults at 287 million, amounting to 37% of the global total.

Although the Government of India launched the Saakshar Bharat Program in 2009, which aims to introduce a variety of teaching-learning programs for nonliterates and neo-literates between 15-35 years of age, in rural areas, the issue of illiteracy among the large number of non-literate adults residing in the urban areas remains unaddressed.

Achievements: Under the Adult Literacy program 88,005 adults have been made literate through Diksha and Swabhimaan.

Who Is Literate Adult?

According to the National Literacy Mission Authority, Government of India, a literate adult is one who can: 1. Read aloud at a speed of 30 words per minute 2. Read and understand road signs, posters and newspapers 3. Understand and copy 7 words per minute 4. Take dictation at the speed of 7 words per minute 5. Read and write numbers from 1 to 100 6. Perform simple calculations - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Activities Under The Program

A. DIKSHA - One-to-one Approach

In this approach student-volunteers from schools/colleges are engaged in providing functional literacy classes to non-literate adults (15+ age) over a period of 45-60 days. The learners are advised to appear for the NIOS examination at the end of the project, which takes place in March and August every year. On clearing the examination the learners are certified as functionally literate. It is important to note that the ideal time to implement DIKSHA is during vacations (session break/summer vacation) as the students would have time to engage in extra-curricular activities. However it can be implemented at other times of the year as well, depending on the willingness of the school authorities.

B. SWABHIMAAN - Dignity Through Education

Swabhimaan envisions setting up Swabhimaan Centres (SC) across India, in centralized locations, to impart functional literacy to non-literate adults (15+ years). Maximum 30 learners can be enrolled per batch and multiple batches can run in one SC. The main resource person for this intervention is the teacher, who is solely responsible for coordinating the project, tracking and reporting the progress of the learners. It can directly be implemented by Clubs or by NGOs identified either by Clubs and/or RILM Office.

Teaching Material For Adult Literacy Program

For imparting the functional literacy course to the non-literate adults, a Club can use any of the following resources.

  • Primer developed by RILM(Disha)- in most of the Indian languages. The Club can enquire availability of primers and place a requisition by writing to
  • State Resource Centrein most of the States develop primers in respective state languages. Interested Clubs can directly acquire the same from the State Resource Centre's office in concerned state by showing the letter of understanding that has been signed between RILM and National Literacy Mission Authority. For obtaining copy of the letter please write to
  • Freeware developed by TCS known as Computer Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) - is available in most of the Indian languages. The Club can directly acquire it or the request can be routed through RILM. The software requires minimum computer configuration viz., Pentium 4 (or above) with 512 MB Memory, 1 GB Hard Disk, Colour Monitor, Sound Card, external Speakers. One computer or a laptop is enough to teach a class of 30 learners

  • The Club registers the adult learners on Registration would close 60 days before the scheduled NIOS examination. Registration process will only be completed after the payment of examination fee of each learner
  • RILM collates national data of adult learners appearing for the NIOS examination and submits it to NIOS. Depending on the data provided by RILM, NIOS sends across the question papers; answer booklets, etc. to RILM or directly to the assigned centres
  • The Club conducts the examination, at the assigned centres for the adult learners
  • The Club evaluates the answer sheets and uploads the result on and sends the answer booklets of all the examinees to RILM
  • RILM collates national data of all the examinees and submits the same to NIOS
  • NIOS reviews the examination data and sends certificates of successful learners to RILM
  • RILM sends the certificates to the respective Clubs

Rotary India Literacy Mission signed an agreement with the National Institute of Open Schooling on 31st July, 2017 at the NIOS office in Delhi. This agreement will ensure the conducting of Basic Literacy Program(BLP) Assessment in accordance with the NIOS equivalency program for non-literate adults, above 15 years of age, who have undertaken the literacy course under RILM’s Adult Literacy Program.

The exams will be held twice a year, in March and August. The Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs implementing the Adult Literacy program will have to register the adult learners two months prior to the scheduled examination. The cost of registering each learner is Rs. 120/-

RILM has prepared a registration process for the learners in coordination with NIOS. From March 2018, Rotary and Inner Wheel clubs will be able to conduct the BLP Assessment at the SwabhimaanCentres and RILM will directly coordinate with NIOS for evaluation of the same.

Project Overview : Rotary India Literacy Mission has joined hands with The Loomba Foundation to work towards the elevation of the socio-economic stature of widows in India who are at risk .The project titled Swabhimaan will seek to impart functional literacy and skill development training for achieving sustainable means of livelihood to widows from all across India.

Project Goal : To make 30,000 widows (includes unmarried daughters of widows and single mothers) between the ages 20-45 years literate and develop sustainable livelihood means for them through training on various skills.1,000 widows from each Indian State and the National Capital will be identified and trained.

Project Timeline : The entire project will be executed over a period of 5 years.

Cost per Beneficiary : The cost of training one beneficiary is Rs. 5000/-

For more details about the project visit:

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