Answer the following questions in not more than 150 words.

Discuss the spatial patterns of female literacy in India in 2001 and bring

out the reasons responsible for it.

Freedom in the real sense of the term is possible only with the empowerment and participation of the people in the exercise of their capabilities and choices in the society. Thus, access to knowledge about the society and environment are fundamental to freedom. Hence, literacy is the beginning of access to such a world of knowledge and freedom. Female literacy is all the more important a factor in determining the spread of the freedom, that comes with development. As Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has put it, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

Literacy rates in India reveals some interesting features:

• Overall literacy in India is approximately 74.04% (2011), while female literacy is 65.46%.

• Total literacy was well as female literacy is higher than the national average in most the states from South India.

• There are wide regional disparities in literacy rate across the states of India. There is a state like Bihar which has very low (53.33%) female literacy and there are states like Kerala and Mizoram which have female literacy rates of 91.98% and 89.40% respectively.

Such a spatial pattern could be due to:

o Traditional mindset among families of North India, which prefer educating sons over daughters since they are considered the bread winners of the family.

o Educating girls in such societies is considered a luxury, since they are anyway going to get married and never work.