The International Literacy Day (ILD) is being observed every year on 8 September to emphasize the importance of literacy to individuals, society and communities.
The day was established in 1966 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This year it is 51st International Literacy Day. The theme announced by UNESCO for this year is `Literacy in a digital world’.
In India to observe this day, several functions were organised by the National Literacy Mission Authority. It included distribution of Saakshar Bharat Awards to best performing States, Districts, Gram Panchayats and NGOs. Government uses occasion of ILD for raising public awareness to eradicate illiteracy and create environment in favour of adult education programmes.
The UNESCO in its 14th Session in November 1966 had declared 8th September as International Literacy Day. Since then, ILD is celebrated every year by most of the member countries. On this day, in year 1965, World Congress of Ministers of Education had met in Tehran for first time to discuss the programme of education at international level.
The observance of ILD aims to mobilize public opinion in favour of struggle against illiteracy. It also seeks to disseminate information on literacy and raise the public awareness and the significance of literacy for individual and national development.