The state government will take up a special drive to make 12 lakh people literate by January 2017, Siddiqulla Chowdhury, minister of state for Mass Education and Library Science departments said on Tuesday.
Talking to newsmen, Chowdhury said that as per the 2011 census, 22 per cent of the total population in the state was illiterate. Among them, a majority are poorest of the poor, minorities and Dalits. He said his department would launch a massive campaign throughout the state to make more people literate. The department has taken up a scheme to make 10 per cent of the population literate within the next five years.
On September 9, a rally will be taken out in the city from Gandhi Statue to Rabindra Sadan, where a programme to create awareness about the campaign will be held. Subrata Mukherjee, state minister for Panchayat and Rural Development, and Ashima Patra, minister of state for Technical Education will be present.
It may be mentioned the Library department has taken up a special drive to help students to develop their habits of reading books and going to the library.
There are 2,500 state-run libraries in 20 districts. Public Library Day was observed in the state on August 30, where attempts were made to woo students to develop the habit of reading books through programmes, symposiums and discussion.
The habit of reading books has been replaced by reading on the internet. As a result, the number of members of different libraries is fast falling. Moreover, because of heavy pressure in schools, children hardly get the time to read story books or those outside their syllabus.
Chowdhury said it would be his prime duty to make the students aware of the libraries and then develop the habit to go there for studies.