Mothers assisting their children in studies is a norm. But children teaching moms, is a rare sight. Children, from classes VII to X living in Sangareddy in Talangana, were entrusted with teaching their mothers how to read and write the Telugu Alphabet. These mothers are now gearing up for National Institute of Open Schooling exam to be held in March under the SBM.

Saakshar Bharat Mission (SBM)

The aim of the mission is to enhance the female literacy rate of the area.

District Collector, Manicka Raj Kanna, thought of this idea to impart literacy to mothers. The goal of the mission is to enhance the female literacy rate of the area. He decided to start a project where school children can teach their mothers at home.

“Just before the summer vacation, we developed a program called ‘Ammaku Akshara Mala’ (String of Alphabet for the Mother). It is a 15-day module to teach women four letters of the Telugu alphabet every day. We visited schools and told the students that their vacation assignment is to teach their mothers at home,” Mr Kannan told The Hindu.

The process

The programme involved a gamut of activities. Firstly, the children were given worksheets with four letters printed on them, one for each day. The mothers, after completion of their household work, would knuckle down to the task of doing these under the tutelage of their kids.

Moreover, this will be repeated during the forthcoming Dussehra breaks.

Also: Purnima Gupta of Nirantar on the dire need for women’s literacy in rural India

Role of volunteers

A 15-day module to teach the alphabet was designed. After this, volunteers from the Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP), a community-driven rural poverty reduction scheme, delivered worksheets to these women at their homes. This solved the problem of making women leave their households and travel.

Major challenges

A major obstacle the authorities faced is to make the women understand the importance of literacy.

“Our effort is to change this mindset. We repeatedly tell them that the ability to read and write makes their lives easier, helps them move about independently, fill and sign challans at the panchayat, and most importantly, to read the text messages from banks on their cell phones, now that the big thrust is on digital transactions,” Mr Kannan said.

Furthermore, literacy is a robust tool to accelerate women empowerment. Besides this, it will also make children value their own education and turn them into responsible young makers.

 

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