Mandla: First ‘functionally literate’ district

Tribal-dominated Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh has become the first completely “functionally literate” district of India. During 2011 survey, literacy rate in Mandla district was 68%. Another report of 2020 highlights that, more than 2.25 lakh people in this district were not literate, most of them were tribals from forest areas.

Key Points:

  • Tribals were frequently complaining to authorities regarding money frauds they were facing. Main reason for this was that tribals were not functionally literate.
  • To make people functionally literate, a major campaign was launched on Independence Day 2020, in association with the school education department, anganwadi & social workers, women and child development department, to educate women and senior citizens.
  • With this campaign, entire district has turned into functionally literate district, within two years.
  • Mandla is the first district of India to reach this mark, where people were able to write their names, read and count.

Functional Literacy:

Functional illiteracy comprises of reading and writing skills that are required to manage daily living and employment tasks. Such tasks require reading skills beyond basic level. It is opposite to illiteracy, which is defined as inability to read or write in any language. A person is called functionally literate when he or she is able to write his or her own name, count and read & write in Hindi or in language other than the predominant language.

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