Education, literacy and empowerment are closely linked. However in the context of poor women, it is often thought that issues such as livelihoods and violence against women are the 'real', more important issues. Yet the same poor women see literacy as being very important to them, that literacy enables access to information and power. Nirantar believes that literacy is critical for autonomy, self expression, accessing entitlements and challenging exploitation. Nirantar intensively builds capacities of organisations who want to provide empowering literacy opportunities, from planning to training, monitoring and evaluation. In our field-based programme, Sahjani Shiksha Kendra we have sought to actualise our vision for literacy.
While recognizing the value of literacy, Nirantar understands education to be much broader, and include structured learning processes which may or may not include literacy. Normally when one thinks of education, one thinks of children. But in Nirantar's work, women's education is an important priority. A major focus of our work is creating materials that promote empowering education for women.