The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has launched a drive to get more children reading in India, the country’s largest democracy.
“There is a growing demand for books and the government has announced plans to expand its child education programmes,” education minister Suresh Prasad told reporters here.
The government has also set up a national child education website, which is being launched on Monday.
The Bharat Samaj Party (BSP) has announced its own national child-literacy drive.
The BSP has also announced its child-care drive, which will cover over 10,000 schools and preschools.
“The government has made it clear that we will not allow any child to be left behind,” said Prasamu Chaudhary, chairman of the Indian Academy of Child Development (IACD).
“The children of India have been neglected and underprivileged,” said Chaudhar.
“We will continue our efforts to make India a world-class child-education hub.”
The IACD, which has a budget of $9.7 billion, has about 4,500 children aged five to 17.
The organisation has also launched an e-learning initiative for the blind, deaf, and poor.
IACd is currently working on a project in a village in West Bengal that will teach deaf children to read.
“These are very positive initiatives.
We will not let the child’s illiteracy and the illiteracy of their parents prevent them from reading,” said Anil Jain, president of the IACDA.
“When children go to school, they are taught in English, and if we teach them in a language that they can understand, we will be able to help them read and write in their native language.”
The government is also working on its own e-reading initiative.
It will launch an eLearning portal, with a goal of providing 1,000,000 e-books to schools by 2020.
“E-learning is a great initiative and a way to make children aware of the Internet,” said Sureshw Sharma, chief executive officer of the Bharatiyas Educational Development Corporation (BEDC).
The BEDC is the only government agency that is providing e-textbooks to the government’s 2.5 million primary school children.
It is a joint venture of the government, private companies and education institutes.
“Children will be the first to access e-education when it comes to reading,” Sharma said.