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Blogs / Educational Bytes / Adult Literacy Program in India

Blogs / Educational Bytes / Adult Literacy Program in India

Ananya Dasgupta

20 Jun 2024

Adult Literacy Program in India

Adult Literacy Program in India


As per UNESCO, nearly 287 million adults in India never had the opportunity to receive education. Indeed this lack of education is the root cause of poverty in most of those families. That’s where an adult literacy program stands vital for their upliftment!

It’s crucial so that they don’t get lost in their own towns for not being able to read street signs and understand why not to marry off their children at a young age.

An adult literacy program can help prevent the continuous and frequent sickness they are susceptible to because of not learning that one needs to wash their hands before cooking. Indeed, an adult literacy program holds a wide series of significance!

This blog shall cover what an adult literacy program exactly is, who needs this program, and which are some of the top adult literacy programs conducted in India today!

What is An Adult Literacy Program?

An adult literacy program is an educational initiative taken by the government, educational institutions, NGOs, and other social agencies to help adults improve their basic life skills, such as reading, writing, and numeracy. Such initiatives empower adult individuals to manage their daily activities effectively and engage actively in society.

Who Are Called Adult Non-Literate?

An adult non-literate is someone who is 15 years old or above and is incapable of performing one or more of the below-given tasks:

1. Read aloud at a speed of 30 words per minute.

2. Understand and read road signs, posters, and newspapers.

3. Understand and copy 7 words a minute.

4. Take dictation at 7 words a minute.

5. Read and write numbers 1 to 100.

Top 4 Adult Literacy Programs in India

Here are the top 4 adult literacy programs in India that you can encourage all adult non-literates to participate in for free.

1. Adult Literacy Program by Tata Consultancy Services

One of the top adult literacy programs in India is offered by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) across 17 states. This program aims to enhance the adult literacy rate in the country through a Computer-Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) solution.

Using this solution, all adult non-literates can achieve functional literacy, i.e., reading, writing, and arithmetic within 3 months. The CBFL solution serves learning in 9 different Indian languages and 3 foreign languages.

The main target beneficiaries of this program are women and adults from marginalized communities. However, TCS’s CBFL solution is also used by several prison authorities in India as an inmate reformation process.  

2. Adult Literacy Classes by Mission India 

The Adult literacy program offered by Mission India is another of the top ones where a holistic approach is the key to adult skilling. The classes not only cover reading, writing, and numeracy but also health and hygiene, spiritual development, and entrepreneurship.

Hence, by availing of this program non-literate adults can learn how to make and sell locally-sourced products, how to maintain a clean home, why to bathe regularly, the importance of washing hands before eating, when to take children to a doctor, and so forth.

Non-literate adults can attend classes daily after work for an entire year and gain knowledge on everything, from counting money, filling out paperwork to open a bank account, and signing their own names to reading bus signs and starting a small business.  

3. Adult Literacy Program by Human Welfare Foundation

In order to address the educational needs of non-literate adults, the Human Welfare Foundation has one of India’s top adult literacy programs in place. Here, community centres are utilized to offer educational services that encompass fundamental literacy skills.

This program also includes various tailored programs that identify the diverse and unique needs of non-literate adults and ensure opportunities to acquire those skills. By doing so, it promotes self-dependency among non-literate adults.  

The program also aims to bridge the information gap among the adult non-literate masses by educating them about the resources and services allocated by the government and other support groups to enhance their quality of life.    

4. Adult Literacy Program by Rotary India Literacy Mission 

With a goal to make 5 crore Indian adults literate by 2027, Rotary India Literacy Mission offers one of the top adult literacy programs in recent times. Their goal is in synchrony with the Government of India’s Nav Bharat Sikhsha Karyakram.

The organization collaborates with schools, universities, rotary clubs, and NGOs to collectively implement the program. Some of their partners include MCKV Institute of Engineering, Symbiosis International University, Human Development Centre, and more.  

They also invite student volunteers from various universities to engage in teaching functional literacy to non-literate adults for about 45-60 days. A Basic Literacy Assessment examination is conducted at the end of the program and clearing it gives a certification of basic literacy level to the adult learner.

In a nutshell, while India aims to pave towards greater socio-economic development, education remains a major determinant. Hence, by educating non-literate adults through adult literacy programs, the country can take a step forward to eliminate poverty and create equal opportunity for all of its people. 

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