Bollywood celebrities such as Alka Yagnik, Javed Akhtar and Lalit Pandit, along with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, launched a new literacy anthem as part of the campaign of promoting adult literacy in India, this Monday.
Written by Akhtar, the national literacy anthem “Humko padhna hai aage badna hai” marked the launch of the National Literacy Mission’s new mass adult literacy awareness campaign “Saakshar Bharat Abhiyan”, which aims to educate illiterate people at the grass-root level.
A video of the literacy anthem featuring actors Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Shabana Azmi, Farhan Akhtar, Kareena Kapoor and Anil Kapoor was also showcased at the occasion.
“The song, composed by Lalit Pandit and sung by Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam, is so heartwarming that all those people who would hear it will automatically get inspired to come together and support the cause,” Sibal said.
“It is of utmost importance, to fight against illiteracy. If we don’t educate the women of our country, India will never rise. I would like to congratulate the people behind ‘Saakshar Bharat Abhiyan’, who have been able to successfully move ahead with their adult education programme.”
“Almost two million adults have taken their literacy exams and according to assessment of National Institute of Open Schooling, 150 million have cleared it, of which 70 per cent are women. This is in itself a big achievement,” he added.
“This initiative won’t be successful, if all of us don’t come together. We need the support of volunteer teachers, gram panchayats, parents and Bollywood celebrities as well, who can inspire the common man,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.