Whole of the country celebrated the World Literacy Day on 08 September 2009, however this event did not elicit any response from the film industry, in the sense that the occasion was not chosen by the government to highlight the importance of education through the Film Industry. It could have made a sizeable impact for the cause of advocating Literacy in the country, which still is at abysmal levels as compared to the levels of literacy in our neighboring country, China. Redeeming feature is, that the central government has appointed Percept to handle the female literacy account having a budget of Rs. 200 crore and this should kindle the hope that may be at the implementation stage Percept could seek the help of the film industry to espouse the cause of literacy.
Interestingly enough, world of Hindi films has been highlighting the importance of literacy through scores of films and this could in fact serve as the veritable guide to expand the cause of literacy. In the present context, where rural India is the flavor of the season, Hindi films could indeed emerge as the veritable tool as the hits of the yore have clearly underlined how being uneducated has led to serious losses of property and prestige. Among some poignant films that have highlighted the importance include:
The cunning moneylender obtains the thumbprint of Nargis and captures all the land in his name. As a matter of fact in most of the films made during those times, this theme ran as a recurring motif, but MOTHER INDIA became a cult film and is an apt example of pitfalls arising out of illiteracy. Incidentally, Hindi cinema whenever it has gone rural has tried to portray the lead characters as illiterate, and it indeed is paradoxical.