Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday said that female literacy rate in the state had improved to 70 per cent in last one-and-half decade and added that the government was committed to achieve 100 per cent literacy among women in the state.
“Before one-and-half decade, the female literacy rate in Gujarat was 57 per cent. Thanks to government approach of promoting girl child’s education, this now stands at 70 per cent. With the help of civil society, the government is committed to achieve cent per cent female literacy rate in the state,” an official release from the state information bureau quoted the CM as saying.
Rupani was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a girls’ school and hostel in Piyava village near Mandavi town in Kutch district. The hostel has been built by Swaminarayan sect which has a grand temple in Bhuj, the district headquarters of Kutch.
Incidentally, while he was serving as chief minister of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Vidya Lakshmi bond scheme for promoting education of girl child. As part of the scheme, the government issues bonds worth Rs 2,000 to girl child at the time of her enrollment in school if she comes from villages in which female literacy rate is less than 35 per cent. The beneficiary can redeem the bond with interest after she completes primary education. Girls of below the poverty line (BPL) families living in cities are also covered under the scheme which was launched in 2002-2003.
According to data of Census 2011, the female literacy rate in Gujarat was 69.68%. This marked an improvement of around 12 percent over the figure of 57.80 per cent in year 2000. The female lieteracy rate is much below the overall literacy rate of 78.03 per cent in the state. Over the same period, the male literacy rate in the state improved from 79.66 per cent to 85.75 per cent.
Addressing the gathering in Piyava, Rupani further said the government had built separate toilet blocks for girls in 57,000 government schools in the state. He added that all the schools had been provided with enough class-rooms and basic amenities like electricity, water etc. “When Narendra Modi was CM of Gujarat, he used to beg people to get their girls educated. My government is committed for creation of a society where mothers get their due place,” the release further quoted the CM as saying.
The Swaminarayan sect has developed the educational campus in Piyava village at the cost of rupees 18 crore. It is spread over nine acres and the Swaminarayan Kanya Vidyamandir will have the capacity to enroll 1,200 girl students.
Later in the day, the CM also attended a felicitation event organised by BJP workers in Mandavi town. Addressing the party workers and supporters at Lohana Boarding in the town, Rupani congratulated them on victory of the ruling BJP in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in the state and especially mentioned the party’s victory from Mandavi seat where senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil was defeated.