National Commission on Labour (1967)||
11.30The CLW has recommended that the need for eradication of illiteracy among workers should be recognised. It supports the scheme drawn up by a Panel set up by the Planning Commission in 1964 to study the problem. This Panel recommended, inter alia, that (i) a suitable programme for adult literacy should be evolved and placed before the State Labour Advisory Boards and Indian Labour Conference for approval; (ii) the responsibility for implementing the programme should rest on organisations like the Coal Mines Labour Welfare Fund Organisation, commodity boards and employers' organisations in the case of workers in the respective industries; (iii) coordination of the activities of these organisations should be the responsibility of a tripartite Board, to be created; (iv) the programme should be financed through grants from the Governments and existing statutory welfare organisations and donations from the employers; and (v) employers should offer suitable incentives to workers for participating in the programme. We feel that adult education is important, and in plantations and mines where illiteracy among workers is high, not only should it receive encouragement, but special efforts should be made by the State to tackle the problem. Illiteracy is not likely to be such a widespread problem in future, particularly because (i) workers in new industries and new recruits to old industries will be more than literate, and (ii) the efforts of the State to improve literacy will gain momentum in the normal course.