In the last five years, Akshara has focused on
working with the urban poor. Its activities have
been directed at children in the slums of Bangalore,
Dharwad and Hubli. Akshara has now made a decision
to extend its programmes to villages in some of
the most backward blocks in North Karnataka.
The Dr Nanjundappa Committee Report has classified
the 175 Talukas of Karnataka State on various
education-based parameters and has identified
60 Talukas as backward.
Of these, Akshara intends to work in 33 Blocks
located in North Karnataka over the next 3 years.
These Blocks have a literacy rate ranging from
39.56% to 60%. (The Karnataka state average is
Akshara’s strategy in these areas is to
partner with well-known institutions that are
already working at the grass root level with the
people. Akshara would build the capacity of these
institutions to carry out the programmes successfully
and later sustain and develop them.
Self help groups (SHGs) will also play a crucial
role in the implementation of the programmes at
the village level. Although SHGs are primarily
financial intermediaries they are doing many social
programmes that benefit them and the community
they live in. They are looking for more and more
opportunities to get involved in activities other
than savings and credit.
Akshara would also set up two Resource Centres
one at Gulbarga and another at Dharwad to build
the capacities of partner organizations and SHGs.
The resource centres would also monitor the entire
entire project has been planned with the involvement
of the Government right from the beginning.
As an institution, Akshara Foundation has
tremendous good will with the Education Department
and this is the reason why the Government
has entrusted the task of improving literacy
in the poorest areas of Karnataka to Akshara
The work in North Karnataka has already started.
We hope that our work will have a significant
impact in these areas in the coming years.