The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed 8 September as the World Literacy Day on 17 November 1965. The day was first celebrated in 1966.

The theme of this year's literacy day is "Literacy and Sustainable Societies" and the day will be celebrated throughout the world by various governments, communities, organisations, the private sector, NGOs, teachers and students.

The day is celebrated to create awareness among people on the importance of being literate and the ability to read and write, which is also a fundamental human right.

As former Secretary-General of the United Nations Koni Annan says "Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope".

Check out some quotes by famous personalities on the importance of being literate:

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. – Abigail Adams, second First Lady of the United States

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. – Mark Twain, American author

Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope – Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. – Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, English aristocrat and writer

All my good reading, you might say, was done in the toilet. – Henry Miller, American writer

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. – Frederick Douglass, African-American social reformer

There is no substitute for books in the life of a child. — May Ellen Chase, American educator

People don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book. – Malcolm X, American Muslim minister

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. – Virginia Woolf, English writer

Comics are a gateway drug to literacy. – Art Spiegelman, American cartoonist

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values. – William S. Burroughs, American Novelist

 There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all. –Jacqueline Kennedy, John F Kennedy's wife