About Us

About Us

It was a momentous rendezvous with Mahatma Gandhi, a few weeks before his tragic assassination, which changed the life of Dr. (Mrs.) Welthy H. Fisher, an American lady who had lived in India for several years. Mahatma Gandhi exhorted her to serve India through its villages. This exhortation had its electrifying effect on Mrs. Fisher. Though she returned to America shortly after Gandhiji's death, she returned to India after few years to fulfill her promise given to Gandhiji. She launched a crusade against illiteracy in rural India by preparing workers for adult education in a small space at Agriculture Institute, Naini, Allahabad from February, 1953. H.E. Shri K.M. Munshi, the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh, invited Dr. (Mrs.) Fisher to come and establish her institution at Lucknow. With the help of the Hon'ble Governor, she shifted to Lucknow in 1956 and established Literacy House which still continues to spread literacy programme in various forms and forums.

The Building and Campus layout of Literacy House was designed by the eminent architect Mr. Laurie Baker. It was designed like an Indian village. It is a cluster of simple brick buildings. Subsequently two Agriculture Farms were established at villages Bijnaur and Neewan having nearly 125 acres of land. Both the farms demonstrate and teach young farmers the techniques of improved agriculture and animal husbandry practices and link literacy with food production and individual needs of the farmers and the community.

Literacy House is a pioneer Institution of international repute in the field of adult and non-formal education and was registered under the Societies Registration Act,1860 in the name of India Literacy Board in 1956. The Board comprises eminent educationists, social workers, representatives of Central and State Governments. In a short time of its inception, Literacy House became the nerve centre of literacy movement in the country. The methodology of teaching illiterates and basic teaching materials were developed here. It became the mother centre for imparting training to master trainers from all corners of the country. Mrs. Fisher also attracted professionals from different part of the country as well as from abroad who came to serve in this noble experiment. Literacy House became the destination of educationists, social reformers, activists, government officials as well as important state functionaries. The then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Presidents Dr. Radhakrishnan and Dr. V.V. Giri and then Vice President Shri Gopal Pathak visited the Centre and were impressed by the work done by the Literacy House. Mrs. Fisher's autobiography, titled, "To light a candle" became the motto of the Literacy House. Her life and work became a source of inspiration to thousands of persons from different walks of life, who joined this noble movement.

Principal functions of Literacy House, since its inception, have been the training of the functionaries of adult education, development of material for non literates and neoliterates, conducting research and evaluation studies, organizing skill development courses for youth, running family life education activities including population and development of education programmes.

Literacy House is known not only in India, but abroad also for preparing the officials and workers in the field of Adult Education and Literacy. Professionals and social workers from developing countries i.e. Nepal, Afganistan, Philipins, Malawi, Somaliya, Fizi, Sri Lanka etc. have got training at Literacy House.

In the year 1978 when Govt. of India launched National Programme of Adult Education, Literacy House was recognised by Govt. of India as the first "Resource Centre for Adult Education" for developing teaching-learning material for adult education programme and to train the work force for the implementation of National Programme of Adult Education at State, District and Village level.

Publication of teaching-learning materials for Adult and Continuing Education, Non-formal Education, Vocational Education, Population and Development Education, Panchayati Raj, Youth Development Activities, etc. have been the most important contribution of Literacy House. Literacy House has produced large number of posters, pamphlets, slogans and more than 500 titles of books particularly for neo-literates, during its journey of six decades.

The use of Puppets for Social Education was introduced first in the country at Literacy House way back in mid fifties to create an interesting and favourable environment for motivating the learners. America's famous Puppeteers Bill and Cora Baird extended their expertise in establishing the "Educational Puppetry Department" at Literacy House. This department effectively contributes in creating a conducive environment for Sakshar Bharat programme.

Literacy House also owns a co-educational school in the name of it's founder i.e. 'Welthy Fisher Children's Academy' in its campus imparting education up to High School. The School is recognized by U.P. Board.

State Resource Centre, U.P. and three Jan Shikshan Sansthans viz. Kanpur, Lucknow and Dehradun and one Empanelled Training Institute (ETI) are also functioning under the agies of Literacy House.

Literacy House, Lucknow continues to have the privilege of the visits of number of important dignitaries from Government, voluntary agencies, private organisations, International Organisations, etc. It attracts people from all corners of the country. It has also been a venue for various workshops, seminars and conferences of UNICEF, Plan India, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, U.P., Zila Shiksha and Prashikshan Sansthan, (DIET) Lucknow, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, U.P., National Service Scheme, Directorate of Adult Education, Govt. of India, Ministry of H.R.D., GOI, N.L.M.A., State Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA), U.P. various Departments of the Government and Non Government Organisations of national and international repute.