The India Literacy Project, (ILP), founded in 1990 in the USA by a group of Non-Resident Indians inspired by Dr. Parameshwar Rao, a scientist trained in the U.S. He returned to India in 1967 to dedicate his life to improving the lives of the rural poor in India.

Dr. Rao’s original goal was to improve the life of the villagers in and around the Vishakapatnam district. He soon realized that literacy was a necessary prerequisite if the villagers were to absorb the knowledge he wished to impart to them. This, together with the knowledge of India’s then abysmal literacy rate of 36%(1981 census approx.), propelled him to campaign in the U.S. for Indians to actively participate in improving the literacy rate. He campaigned across several cities in the US which led to a group of NRIs coming together and committing to create an organization dedicated to literacy and education (Document signed by founding members). Thus ILP was born.

ILP’s first initiative was in the form of a small grant to an adult literacy program of the Bhagavatula Charitable Trust (BCT) in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. From these humble beginnings, ILP was born. Today ILP is an active organization, with more than hundred volunteers in the U.S and a vibrant organization in India. To date ILP has supported over 500,000 under-privileged children and women in over 12 States. With the help of donors like you and a dedicated team of volunteers in USA and India, ILP is mobilizing funds and raising awareness for education.

Through experience gained at the grassroots level,we have expanded our program to cover education initiatives for “out of school children” and “literacy-cum-income generation programs”. We have also included capacity building programs, such as teacher training and dissemination of best practices in our goals. More recently, we have supported projects that strengthen mainstream education provided by the Government.

ILP US – By Laws

ILP US – Constitution


Realizing that for improved effectiveness and efficiency, ILP would need to have its own presence in India, ILP decided to set up the ILP India Trust. The ILP-India initiative was established in January 2000 and is registered as a Charitable Trust under the Sections 12A and 80G of the Income Tax in India,and facilitates assessment and evaluation of projects and the overall administration of its operation. ILP-India’s unique on-site participatory evaluation and monitoring program, has helped strengthen, sustain and improve the success rates of programs funded.