Illiteracy is one social vice which is a result of most other social evils and even a cause of many of them. It forms a vicious cycle of dire conditions and helplessness which often traps the rural societies of India. It is referred as the condition of lack of basic education and knowledge among the masses due to several reasons. India has a high rate of illiteracy of around 26 percent which is responsible for its erratic economic and cultural position on the global scenario.
Illiteracy is mainly the result of poverty and dearth of facilities coupled with the rural orthodox social outlook of India. Many people cannot afford the expenses of basic education even if it has been subsidized and made free. Moreover, there exists this mentality that girls need not be educated and deserve to do house-hold chores because the males are considered to be the bread-earners in our patriarchal society while the females are asked to stay back at home. Though this outlook is changing with the development of the nation, many other factors contribute to the high illiteracy in our country. One such factor is corruption. Corruption in the administrative level lead to the failure of many governmental and nongovernmental initiatives which aim at educating one and all in the country. Moreover, lack of employment opportunities, over-population and degradation in the quality of education in India these days account for the status-co of the society. Rising prices of the commodities also force people to drop out of schools and colleges to find means of earning livelihood to make both ends meet.
As we discuss the causes, we see that even the effects and results of illiteracy are similar. Due to large number of uneducated masses, the human population cannot turn into a useful resource and thus cannot contribute to the economic growth of our country. This leads to a low demographic dividend. Moreover, ignorance about the basic rights and principles of a citizen of the country leads to added corruption among the authorities and officials at any level. We also notice illiteracy leading to deteriorating health conditions of people as they are unaware about it. It leads to promotion of blind faiths, fads, misconceptions and superstitions in the society. Lack of awareness also deteriorates the cultural richness of our country as we cannot take proper care of it.
Thus we see, illiteracy is a social evil that shall encircle our country in darkness and downfall if not curbed. Thus, we are now making efforts by taking initiatives to teach everyone. Campaigns, clubs, evening schools and forums take steps forward to teach specific issues to specific sections of the society. NGOs and international organizations are also implementing laws and providing facilities and funds to help educate each person. All we need is cooperated and sincere efforts to fight this problem.