Illiteracy and poverty in India amid pandemic
The growth of a country should not just be measured considering the economical factors as the complete development of a country cannot be measured as wealth is not equally distributed among the people of our country. The social well-being of people in a country is also equally important. From the time of Independence, measures have been taken by the government to increase the literacy rate and eradicate poverty. We have seen improvement in this regard but it is not comparable to other developing countries.
The literacy rate in India is 77.7%1 as of 2020 and literacy is not spread evenly across the states nor in the urban and rural areas.
Illiteracy will not just affect the person who is illiterate as the individual cannot read or write he/she will have to work in the unorganized sector with low wages and no guarantee of work. This will in turn affect the children coming from illiterate families as well and they will again be forced to work at an early age to earn a living. This will further push the people to poverty and by this, we can see how education and poverty in India are interrelated.
According to a recent study by Azim Premji University’s Centre for sustainable employment states that additional 23 Crore2 people are pushed below the poverty line. Now with cases increasing it is bound to increase even further more people will be living below the poverty line. About 2/3rd of the people in our country used to live below the poverty line before the pandemic hit us and this means that people are not able to afford standard living conditions and with pandemic taking a toll on the jobs of many people, unemployment is increasing and thereby pushing a majority of workers below the poverty line. People in the organized sector are forced to take jobs in the unorganized sector.
This vicious circle of poverty is going to continue the same way if necessary measures are not taken, the government should take steps
that are different from before as this pandemic is going to push a lot of people to poverty. The rise in poverty in India will again have a direct impact on the literacy rate of India as more youngsters will be forced to take up jobs to earn a living.
Illiteracy and poverty in India amid pandemic. The quality of education being served in our country at this moment is not really good as the classes have shifted online, there is less interaction between students and teachers. The amount of children with good facilities to attend classes online is considerably low and this will also directly affect children who wish to study further and literacy rates will drop. Quick measures have to be taken and considerable steps have to be implemented along with them.
Through these difficult times, people have to be guided and given an opportunity to live life reasonably. Provision for a good education will play a vital role. Employment opportunities should also increase to help people attain a certain standard of living.
Source: Hindustan Times , Azim Premji University – State of Working India 2021 Report