Literacy as a prerequisite to education is an instrument of empowerment. The more literate the population the greater the consciousness of career options, as well as participation in the knowledge economy.
Further, literacy can lead to health awareness and fuller participation in the cultural and economic well being of the community. Enormous effort is needed to ensure the literacy of the new generations – which are only just beginning. Literacy levels have improved considerably after independence and almost 2/3 of population is now literate in India.
Literacy varies considerably across regions and across social groups. Literacy rate also varies by social group-historically disadvantaged communities like the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have lower rates of literacy and rates of female literacy within these groups are even lower. The power of literacy is its ability to inspire independent thinking, make wise choices and foster critical analysis.