New Delhi: "We might send Chandrayan to moon and mars mission but if we don`t give education to our women, we can`t fly."
With theses words, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday launched a mass awareness campaign for the success of the Saakshar Bharat Abhiyan programme here on Monday that will employ a host of mediums including television ads to reach out to the people.
A National Literacy Anthem composed by acclaimed lyricist Javed Akhtar and sung by Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam was released at the historic Red Fort by Sibal.
The mission, which covers adults beyond the age of 15, has assessed close to two crore adults and issued literacy certificates.
The aim of the new awareness campaign is to give a boost to this ambitious programme whose benefits are yet to reach all the corners of the country.
"We will take literacy, education and empowerment to every village in the country," Sibal said at the launch where he unfurled the literacy theme flag.
Emphasising the importance of female literacy, Sibal said that "we might send Chandrayan to moon and mars mission but if we don`t give education to our women we can`t fly."
He also said that the mission will need contribution from society, volunteers, Grampanchayat representatives and Bollywood celebrities to make it a success.
"We need cooperation from all sections of our society, including volunteers, Grampanchayat representatives and Bollywood people who can inspire us," he said.
A promotional video featuring Sharukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Shabana Azmi was also launched. The video is available on Youtube.
Speaking at launch, Javed Akhtar said that it is only through education that social equality and justice can reach everyone.
"People who were left behind will be covered in this mission. Adult education is very important, especially female education," Akhtar said.
Jagmohan Sighn Raju, Director General, National Literacy Mission Authority, said that they are targeting to cover 70 million people in next five years under the mission.
"Our target for the next five years is to cover 70 million people out which 60 million will be females," Raju said.
Ringtone of the anthem was released by D Purandeswari, Minister of State, Human Resource Development.
Anshu Vaish, Secretary Department of School Education and Literacy said that India needs freedom from illiteracy.