A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the National Cadet Corps and the UNICEF on 21 July 2007. The function was presided over by the Defence Minister, Mr A. K. Anthony and the MOU was signed by Cecilio Adorna on behalf of UNICEF and on behalf of the NCC by Gen P. S. Choudhury, Director General NCC. The Defence Minister also unveiled a plaque commemorating the initiation of a path breaking new partnership to bring literacy among youth.
The function was attended by cadets drawn from colleges and schools across the country. The National Cadet Corps (NCC) has adopted development activities to inculcate the ideals of community service among the cadets. The cadets are involved in activities like adult-education, tree plantation, blood donation, slum clearance and village development. The NCC prepares the youth for tasks of leadership for development and is imminently suited to the task of reaching literacy to the non-literate youth of the country.
The programme will receive critical technical support from the National Literacy Mission. The Mission seeks to attain a sustainable threshold literacy rate of 75% by 2007. The Mission aims to achieve this by imparting functional literacy to non-literates in the 15-35 age group. The NLM will partner this initiative through the relevant State Resource Centres.
All children, including adolescents, must be enabled to acquire knowledge and skills, such as for team work, conflict resolution, communication and decision making. The energies and creativity of children and young people must be nurtured so that they can actively take part in shaping their environment, their societies and the world they live will inherit. Adolescents in particular need attention and support to access basic services, build self esteem and prepare them to take responsibility for their own lives.
This Youth to Youth literacy programme is path breaking in concept and impact. The project will initially be introduced in Raipur, Jashpur, Durg, Bhilai, Bhopal, Ranchi and Jaipur and reach out to approximately 4000 young non-literate people. The pilot project is expected to be replicated in other towns and villages of the country. The young cadets with their commitment, idealism and enthusiasm will generate a new momentum towards literacy for youth with rich cultural, social and economic benefits for all.