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Akshara's Foray into North Karnataka
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Akshara’s Foray into North Karnataka

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 67.04%)

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 programme.

This 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 Foundation.
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.

Vijay Kulkarni
Director - Programmes


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