TARA Akshar, an ITC-based literacy program created by a New Delhi based company, Development Alternatives, has helped teach rural women how to read and write. Since 2008, the program has been rolled out in various states across North India and has helped make over 60,000 women literate. KARNAL: For both Kiran and Kamlesh, the two women panchs in the gram panchayat of Kohand village, in Karnal district, life has taken a turn for the better. They were part of a group of 35 illiterate women of the village selected for a programme.

Not long ago, they used to be the non-performing panchs — their proficiency hampered by illiteracy. Their worries were compounded with state government ordering that all members of the panchayats have to be literate to fight elections. For both Kiran and Kamlesh, it appeared to be an end of their political career, till they came to know about TARA Akshar, a validation programme that started in their village. They joined the TARA Akshar literacy programme and cleared the exams on February 17, 2011. Now, they are not only functionally literate, but also better equipped to extend full support to the gram panchayat in the welfare activities.

TARA Akshar is an initiative of the ministry of human resource development (MHRD), Government of India for `Saakshar Bharat Mission 2012`. It was conducted under the aegis of the State Resource Centre Haryana from December 14, 2010 to February 17, 2011. The exams were conducted under the supervision of district panchayat vice-chairman Ashok Mittal and Virender Kumar, a vet by profession. Under this programme, 35 women have been made literate. TARA Akshar was taught in two phases and on its conclusion, the students were tested for retention.

TARA Akshar is an ICT-based, functional literacy programme, teaching rural women to read and write Hindi including numeracy in just 45 days. It has been developed by Development Alternatives, New Delhi. One of the fastest literacy programmes in the world, it is based on the latest memory techniques, various memory hooks and trial and error methods. The programme in the past three years has already made more than 60,000 women literate in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Karnal-village-women-get-literacy-power/articleshow/7525696.cms