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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

International Literacy Day 2019: A scalable literacy model is changing lives in this Lucknow village

International Literacy Day 2019: Mother-of-four Gudiya is happy that she no more has to use thumb impressions on documents. “Now, I sign -- that too in English! I can also read signboards. In fact, I enjoy both reading and writing. My husband who works as a labourer is happy. So are my children -- they are glad to see their mother studying,” she said.

education Updated: Sep 09, 2019 11:18 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Hindustantimes
         

A week ago, 40-year-old Gudiya (who goes by single name), a native of Kurouni village in Lucknow’s Sarojini Nagar block, went to a nationalised bank to inquire about the balance in her savings account.

The bank staff told her a figure but Gudiya insisted that he should recheck it. When the staff refused, she told him that only that morning she had received a text message, according to which Rs 15,000 had been credited into her account. The staff rechecked and found her to be right. He apologised.

“I told him I wasn’t an illiterate. I learnt how to read and write ever since the Global Dreams Literacy Mission started in my village,” Gudiya told HT on Saturday.

“Global Dreams is a movement for a literate India,” said Suntia Gandhi, president-worker of NGO ‘Devi Sansthan’ that runs the programme.

“We have been experimenting with many different scalable models and Karauni village is where we have implemented a community-based campaign. Here, we trained 22 women who, in turn, taught 180 others in the first two months of the programme. These ladies continued to teach others and today, around 800 women here are literate,” she said.

Gandhi said that there were no financial incentive to be a ‘literacy volunteer’ and the women did it to improve their lives and earn respect. “They work wholeheartedly. There’s a lot of passion. Also, the Global Dreams toolkits make the teaching-learning process simple,” she said.

“The Karouni community model is highly scalable. In this way, states and even the nation can become literate,” said Gandhi.

Meanwhile, mother-of-four Gudiya is happy that she no more has to use thumb impressions on documents. “Now, I sign -- that too in English! I can also read signboards. In fact, I enjoy both reading and writing. My husband who works as a labourer is happy. So are my children -- they are glad to see their mother studying,” she said.

Her daughter Soni, 22, passed Class 12 with second division and now works alongside her mother as a literacy instructor. “My conscious inspires me to help the uneducated. I teach around 10 women,” she said.

Talking about the overall literacy status of her village, she said, “The previously uneducated women can now understand alphabets and have started forming sentences. They are completely focused on their studies.”

Aneeta Devi, 30, also loves the change in her life. She said that her husband studied till Class 5, but she never got the opportunity for formal schooling. “It started only when I joined this literacy mission three years ago,” said Aneeta.

Suman Gautam, 35, a volunteer with the mission, said she gave her services without any expectation of rewards. Having studied up to Class 8, Suman convinced several illiterate women to come to her and learn how to read and write.

“Total 11 women are studying under my supervision, including my mother-in-law!” she said with a smile.

First Published: Sep 08, 2019 15:06 IST