Shyam, 40, is beaming. He attended a three-month-long literacy class conducted at Rangpuri Pahari locality in Mahipalpur, Delhi. He didn'tbunk the class for even one day. Today, he can successfully read and write. ?I can also do basic calculations,? he says proudly. Preeti, 14, too is a product of the literacy class in Palam Poutry locality. ?I cannot tell you how happy I am. I have learnt how to read and write. I am a bit slow now, but with time I will improve,? she says. These are a few samples of the views expressed by neo-literates at a function in Mahipalpur on July 6 to mark the culmination of the first-phase of pan-Delhi literacy campaign, which was launched on February 1 on the occasion of birth-centenary of Shri Guruji by Sewa Bharati, Delhi. Sewa Bharati is also going to conduct a post-literacy programme for these neo-literates.
The literacy campaign is undertaken in phases. In the first phase (February 1 to April 30), about 10,000 Delhiites were made literate through 576 classes. The classes were conducted in 428 slum-clusters/JJ colonies across Delhi. The campaign had been inaugurated by Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh of RSS Shri Prem Chand Goyal and former DGP of Punjab Shri K.P.S. Gill on January 26 this year. The second phase of the campaign will begin in 2007.
Shri Navjot Singh Sidhu, former cricketer and MP, while ddressing the neo-literates said, ?Our scriptures say that education is like the celestial cow. One who receives it is empowered for life. It makes him confident and self-dependent. This is the gift you received from Sewa Bharati. There can be no better gift. I am sure you will cherish it throughout your life.? He said the service of mankind amounts to service of God. ?Sewa Bharati is engaged in this service. I can see that Sewa Bharati'sdeeds have left a stamp on all of you,? he added. In his own imitable way, Shri Sidhu regaled the audience with inspiring poetry and anecdotes. He also honoured the volunteer teachers who spent one to two hours daily for three months to impart the gift of literacy. He also presented literacy certificates to the neo-literates.
The function was presided over by Shri Ranbir Singh, former Rajya Sabha MP and former principal of Aurobindo College, Delhi. Also present on the dais were well-known vocalist Shri Jyoti Prakash, Delhi Kisan Sangh'spresident Chaudhary Kanwar Singh and Sewa Bharati'sworking president Shri Brijmohan Sethi. Jyoti Prakash, who helped collect donation worth over Rs 4 lakh for the literacy campaign, set the tone for the programme by singing a bhajan.
Sewa Bharati runs 1789 welfare projects in slum-clusters and JJ colonies across Delhi. The projects are undertaken with special emphasis on child development, education (including vocational training), health and women empowerment.