Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday underscored the importance of education saying that 'swaraj' is meaningless if there is still illiteracy in the country.
Addressing a seminar on International Literacy Day, Naidu said that although the nation has come far from the time of Independence in 1947 when only 18 per cent of the population was literate, it cannot rest idle since a lot remains to be achieved.
"It's a shame that there are still 19 per cent people who are uneducated in the country. . .
Democracy, development, swaraj. . .
do not mean anything if there is illiteracy, " he said.
"Educating the illiterate is our sacred duty. . .
We cannot call ourselves a welfare society unless everyone in it is educated, " he added.
The Rajya Sabha Chairman also said that education helps people understand government policies and fight corruption.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and the two Ministers of State (HRD) Upendra Kushwaha and Satya Pal Singh also attended the event.
- - IANS