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08 September,2021  |  By Brainwonders

International Literacy Day 2021 Banner Image

Education is the pillar of a nation. It helps an individual to stand on their feet and become independent. Education gives us the capability to have our own identities, express them through language, communicate with our perspectives and have a sense of self-worth. It makes us experience our independence and gives us a sense of belongingness in the world. Literacy gives us the privilege to form our belief system, our ideologies and express them to others as an individual. At the same time, it also supports us in experiencing a sense of togetherness with other communities and societies. International Literacy Day is celebrated to provide every individual with basic education. In another perspective, International Literacy Day also regards each individual their right to information, and their right to have a way of living that can be achieved by being literate.

What is Literacy?


Literacy is defined as the ability to read, write and understand information properly. It is a prerequisite to effective communication. An individual gets devoid of a lot of facilities and lacks awareness if they do not know how to read or write. From reading a simple pamphlet to reading newspapers and books, only if one is literate can one understand the world around them.  

Importance of Being Literate:

being literate

Literacy is very important for one’s personal development and social interaction. It is the fundamental aspect of our life. The knowledge about human history, society, science and technology, and all the possible domains open up through the key of literacy. Not only this, your problem-solving capacity and social skills also get enhanced by being literate. 

Literacy does not only mean educating people. It is a very powerful way to uproot poverty in our nation. It is one of the extremely strong means to human progress and the way through which the class differences in India can be eradicated. 

History of International Literacy Day:

international literacy day

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is an organisation) aims to build peace among all the nations through international cooperation in Education, Science, Social and Cultural aspect. This organization aims to work through the socio-political agendas leading to the development of the nations collectively.

The concept of International Literacy Day was established in 1965 at a conference, “World Conference of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy” that was held in Tehran, Iran. It was then declared by UNESCO as an annual event to raise awareness of the importance of literacy for all. Following the UNESCO General Conference, the first International Literacy Day was celebrated on September 8, 1967.

It noted that despite the number of illiterate adults in the world, education policies should aim to provide training for these individuals. Hence, this day was established to remind the world of the importance of basic education for every individual and community. It created hope in the international forum to bring every nation together through the right kind of education, awareness and knowledge.

Some Interesting Facts About Education and Worldwide Literacy:

  • A key part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda is the Sustainable Development goals. The UN has aimed to achieve the goals by 2030. The 2030 Agenda is a set of goals that aim to improve the lives of people around the world.
  • As per the ‘Household Social Consumption: Education in India’, Kerala has the most literate state in India with a literacy rate of 96.2%. Andhra Pradesh comes in at the bottom with a literacy rate of 66.4%.
  • The various provisions of the Indian constitution ensure that educational rights are properly implemented in the country.
  • As per Article 30 in the Indian constitution, rights are granted to the minorities to have their educational institutions.
  • According to the right to equality, no individual shall be discriminated against based on status, class, caste, sex and creed. Equal opportunity is the right of every citizen of India.

Leaders Who Created Change To Promote Literacy:

There are a lot of people who made significant changes in India to ensure that literacy reaches every household. One of the pioneers is Dr Mithu Alur. She is the founder and the chairperson of Spastics Society of India and the National Resource Centre of Inclusion. She has provided education to 3000 mentally and physically challenged children and has done tremendous work in providing education and working with the idea of inclusive education in the nation.

Another such example is of Dr Y.G. Parthasarathy who is a renowned teacher and administrator of art and culture. She promoted Bala Bhavan, a school promoting Indian culture and values where 13 students were enrolled. Eventually, she propagated her views and worked to bring the education of India inculcated with values to various young minds.

Steps Taken to Improve Literacy in India:

Steps to Improve Literacy Day

  • The government of India has taken various steps to take the nation towards literacy. The International Literacy Day 2021 is one of the representations of it. However, there are various other ways through which the government makes sure that education reaches to every door and every corner of the nation.
  • Government organizes certain exam based scholarships to provide school uniforms, books and stationery to encourage students to study.
  • The Mid Day Meal Scheme that was launched in 1995 took the initiative to provide free food to the students to increase enrolment and maintain the students per year in the government schools.
  • There are various schemes launched like Samagra Shiksha Programme that aim to maintain the school-running ratio.
  • Various awareness campaigns are launched every year to reach out to people and create awareness about education.

The theme of International Literacy Day 2021:

There has been a huge impact on the education of the children due to COVID-19. It has impacted the people and learners from every fraternity of the education sector. It has made the availability of meaningful learning opportunities quite limited and has shaken up the foundations of literacy.

Even in pandemics, there has been a constant determination to find ways to ensure the continuous learning of people. This includes finding ways to minimize the loss of face-to-face time and provide opportunities for distance learning.

Beyond its intrinsic importance, literacy is also a driver for social and sustainable development. It provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to improve their lives.

The theme of International Literacy Day 2021, is to explore how literacy contributes to a human-centred recovery, and how it can be used to enhance the digital skills of non-literate adults and youth. It will also look at what makes technology-based literacy learning inclusive.

Ways to Create Awareness on International Literacy Day 2021:

Every individual can be of significant help by creating awareness in this field. These include:

  • Talk to your neighbours about the importance of being literate
  • Create awareness on social media platforms
  • Sponsor a child’s basic education
  • Help the people who belong to the underprivileged section of the society in exploring various subjects and streams
  • Join NGOs to help the children in their basic education
  • Gift a child stationary on special occasions like your birthday or a festival

It is time that we move literacy from privilege to being a necessity. Education is every individual’s right and we must celebrate International Literacy Day 2021 to create awareness about education. 


Happy International Literacy Day!

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