Literacy is the bridge between misery and hope – Kofi Annan
This statement couldn’t hold more relevance today than ever. In a world where your high school diploma acts as a pillar of your bright future, literacy is a sword in the battle of life.
Literacy is also a harbinger of development. Some of the most developed nations in this world have exceptionally high literacy levels. USA and UK with 99% and China at 97%.
However, India shows a complete opposite overview. It has the highest rate of illiterate adults, with an overall literacy rate standing at 77.7%. Over 287 million people in India are illiterate, and this amounts to 37% of the global total. Now, with such low rates and extreme illiteracy conditions, problems are out to emerge. In this article, I delve deeper into them and take a precise look at the ‘consequences’ of illiteracy.
No company wants to employ an illiterate person. Illiteracy has a direct impact on the high unemployment rate of India. Currently standing at 7.8%, a major chunk of the unemployed are illiterate people. Illiteracy has deemed them unable to find a job and earn. This causes poverty, which in turn causes illiteracy.
People are unable to afford education for their children, and they grow up illiterate. Thus, they are unable to find a job, and the cycle starts all over again. Reports show that 115 million people in India live below the poverty line, causing high illiteracy and unemployment rates.
GDP or Gross Domestic Product refers to a measure of the market value of certain goods. Countries with high literacy rates have a way higher GDP. The USA has a GDP of 20.54 lakh crores USD, whereas India was that of 2.72 lakh crores USD. Such a stark difference!
Illiteracy has a direct relation with this low GDP. Illiterate people have lesser access to education, growth, and opportunity. Thus they are unable to contribute to any form of GDP growth. Imagine if the 287 million people were literate and contributing to GDP, what the rates must have been!
Every 11th child in India is a victim of child labour. Over 10.1 Million kids are working in various industries to support their families. These sky-high rates are once again, a result of poverty caused due to illiteracy. Since their parents are illiterate and families live in poverty, they are stripped of a normal childhood and forced to work. If their parents were literate, they would’ve had a decent job, and they would’ve been in school and not the dump yards.
It’s solely due to the poverty caused due to illiteracy that they are forced to work in the form of child labour. Stated above are some of the major consequences of illiteracy in India. Illiteracy is an issue that can be controlled. If citizens set their thoughts on curbing it, it can very well be controlled!
Illiteracy is India’s sin and shame and must be liquidated – Mahatma Gandhi