All about Adult Literacy


About TARA Akshar+

India is plagued by large levels of illiteracy, with a higher number of female illiterates. Thus, Development Alternatives, under its mandate to empower communities, developed the TARA Akshar+ program to impart functional literacy in rural and urban spaces.

The Core Programme

TARA Akshar Plus (TA+) is an intensive ICT enabled literacy and numeracy programme enabling illiterate people to read, write and do simple arithmetic, using advanced learning and memory techniques. Within 56 days of highly instructive and entertaining 2-hour classes held locally in the village, the learner acquires 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 programs require, TA+ is demonstrably able to position its graduates to become vocal members of their families and effective leaders in their communities.

Continuing Education Programme

Gyan Chaupali, the continuing club for alumni runs for six-month to prevent recidivism. The learners are invited to consolidate the skills they have acquired. Here, women gather, share and discuss issues of concern, have access to books and other relevant literature, and continue their learning and growth. They learn how to improve their lives on subjects such as health, hygiene, agriculture, legal rights, livelihood and other issues.


A broader impact on community life as well as improved participation of women in democratic and economic institutions was observed.

Literacy led empowerment of women further enabled better decision-making – on mobility, participation, reproductive health, children’s marriage, education, jobs, finances, communications, rights, etc.

In 2019, a study conducted by DA showed that 672 women in the districts of Lalitpur and Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh added approx. 2 crores to the local GDP.

Information gained on health & hygiene in Gyan Chaupali led to healthier bodies and positive mental health. Women started treating themselves well and were confident to seek help in a health crisis.

*The demonstrated figures are a result of endline evaluation conducted by India Development Foundation for Phase 3 (2017-2021) of Adult Literacy Programme funded by IKEA Foundation