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It was an honour for RILM as Chairman, PRID Shekhar Mehta was requested to head a Panel Discussion on the occasion of the International Literacy Day, 2018 as arranged by Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India.

I shri Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India was the Chief Guest and Ms. Rina Ray, Secretary (Department of School Education & Literacy), Shri SachinSinha, Joint Secretary, (AE) & Director General, NLMA; Mr. Al Amin Yusuf, Advisor for Communication for South Asia, UNESCO Office, New Delhi; Shri Shekhar Mehta, Chairman, Rotary India Literacy Mission graced the dais. The Function was attended by 550 to 600 participants from across the country. The message of Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO was also received on this occasion.

PRID Shekhar Mehta, Chairman, Rotary India Literacy Mission in his address said that illiteracy is the biggest scourge for any country and lamented that in India we still harbour a high percentage of illiteracy. He informed that Rotary Clubs have played a successful role in eradicating Polio in the whole world by joining their efforts with partner organisations. In the same vein Rotary can play a lead role in eradicating illiteracy in India. He informed that Rotary clubs have already initiated the pilot project for eradication of illiteracy. He suggested that for successful implementation of the literacy scheme, it should be launched by Honourable Prime Minister of India with wide publicity and public attention. As per him, budget is also one of the deciding factors for the success of the literacy scheme. Hence budget allocation should be done very carefully and sufficient funds should be allocated for free distribution of primers to student volunteers to counter adult illiteracy.

The panel discussed several issues on Adult Literacy, and among them was a presentation on 'Social Mobilization' by Rotary Past District Governor Shri Ranjan Dhingra. Besides these, the experience was also shared about the 'Role of voluntary organizations such as Rotary India Literacy Mission' by Rotarian Prof. Ajay Kumar Singh, and 'Delhi School Literacy Project' by Dr. Ritu under the topic 'Role of Voluntary Action in Promoting Adult Literacy' to motivate and orient the audience and strategize the future MHRD scheme for Adult Literacy.

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