Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for bridging the gender gap in literacy and said educating a woman tantamount to educate the entire family.
If the mother is educated in a household, essential healthcare problems like child mortality can be addressed, Mukherjee said at a programe here.
According to the 2011 Census, "male literacy is 80.2 per cent in the country and in case of women, it is 60 per cent," he said.
This shows that women trail behind men in literacy and this 20 per cent gap should be bridged, the former President said.
"The rate of literacy among women must be equal to male literacy. If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family," the Bharat Ratna recipient said in his speech.
"I reiterate that if women are educated, they will take care of health issues and bring basic fundamental changes in healthcare in education and a new culture will be developed among youngsters," Mukherjee said.
India has a pluralistic society and, despite that, Indians are united, he said. "India has one goal, one Constitution, one flag and this plurality will be strengthened by the mothers, sisters and daughters who will teach the new generation," he said.
Girls from several city schools attended the 'Beti Padhao Abhiyaan' programme organised by a corporate group.