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Empower citizens via legal awareness programmes: Ansari

Posted by Ramesh Khati on October 30, 2009

Gangtok, Oct 29 (IANS):Describing education as the most potent instrument for social and economic mobility and for ushering in political change, Vice President M. Hamid Ansari Thursday called for empowering citizens in a meaningful manner through specified legal awareness programmes.
Speaking at a seminar “Right to Education with special reference to Sikkim and its impact on Legal Awareness Campaign” here, he praised Sikkim’s “pro-active approach” towards implementation of the Right to Education Act, 2009, and said the small Himalayan state has rightly recognised the importance of education.

“Education is indeed the most potent instrument for social and economic mobility and for eventually bringing about social and political change,” Ansari said.

He, however, felt empowering citizens in a more meaningful manner can only be done through specific and specialised legal awareness programmes of the kind conducted in Sikkim.

“I hope the existing synergy between civil society and the government would continue to further raise legal awareness in the state,” he said.

“Literacy outcomes in Sikkim have also been very impressive and the state commands a literacy rate of over 75%, and in urban areas it is over 80%”, he said.

He said here that it was the need for the state to question itself if the children have actually acquired skills commensurate with their schooling and whether they have access to vocational and technical skills that are necessary once they leave the portals of school.

“We also need to question whether there exists inequality and segregated access to quality education. We need to access if this is being realised for the poor and the vulnerable at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid”, he added.

The seminar has been organised to mark the year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Sikkim’s High Court, established on April 7, 1959 – even before its accession with the Indian Union in 1975.


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