India is plagued by large levels of illiteracy, with a higher number of female illiterates. Development Alternatives, under its mandate to empower communities, developed the TARA Akshar+ programme to impart functional literacy in rural and urban spaces. TARA Akshar+ is an intensive information and communication technology-enabled literacy and numeracy programme, which supports and trains illiterate women in reading, writing, and doing simple arithmetic, using advanced learning and memory techniques.
Within 56 days of highly instructive and entertaining two-hour classes, which are held in villages, learners acquire sufficient literacy and numeracy skills to be able to read simple books, write letters, verify her shopping and banking transactions, and go on to learn highly valuable job-related skills. Saving some two years and huge costs, which other teaching programmes require, TARA Akshar+ is demonstrably able to position its graduates to become vocal members of their families and effective leaders in their communities.