Albert Schweitzer Medal awarded to Armene Modi

Albert Schweitzer Medal awarded to Armene Modi for her academic excellence and extensive service in education and literacy.

The presentation was made on 18th April 2020 at the World Literacy Summit 2020.

“In the firm belief that issues of poverty and illiteracy are not the problems of just the poor and marginalized alone, but universal issues that concern us all”
– Armene Modi, 2020 Albert Schweitzer Medalist

“We face a global literacy crisis with 91% of children in the world not attending school right now”
– Andrew Kay, World Literacy Foundation CEO

April 18, 2020 – Today, we  recognize Armene Modi with the Albert Shweitzer award which celebrates both academic excellence and extensive service to the community in the field of education and literacy in India.

The award is named after Albert Schweitzer, the famous Austrian who first came to Oxford University in 1922. Albert Schweitzer medal is an award presented to an individual who has made outstanding contribution to literature through their intellectual work in both writing and research.

Armene Modi is the founder of Ashta No Kai, a non-profit organization that aims to educate and empower rural women and girls in 10 villages in Pune District, India. Since 1998, Armene’s exceptional efforts towards empowering rural women in India has  helped to improve the educational outcomes of hundreds of adolescent girls over the years.

Today, 770 million people cannot read a single word, while another 2 billion people struggle to read a full sentence. Illiteracy is a global crisis, and the World Literacy Foundation aims to educate people on the benefit of acquiring even basic literacy skills. The cycle begins with a child struggling to read, professing into an adult who struggles with literacy and as a result becomes a victim of issues relating to unemployment, welfare, crime and wellbeing.

Andrew Kay, CEO of the World Literacy Foundation, explains that this award aims to celebrate the  valuable contribution of Armene Modi to education in India over the past 22 years. In 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, it is estimated that 1.5 billion young people are not currently attending school, many which do not have access to online learning. As a result, it is likely that education enrolments are  likely going to fall in the coming months and many will be faced with unfortunate circumstances.

The World Literacy Summit awards ceremony was held as an online experience this year on April 18.

About the World Literacy Summit (WLS)

The online World Literacy Summit brings together leaders from 85 countries representing over two-thirds of the world’s population, and all with a single focus – advocating, championing and educating on the vital importance of improving literacy levels across the globe. For more information about the WLS please visit

About the World Literacy Foundation (WLF)

The WLF strives to ensure that every young individual, regardless of geographic location, has the opportunity to acquire literacy and reading skills to reach their full potential, succeed at school and beyond. The WLF works to provide free access to quality education materials and innovative solutions that target wide-scale illiteracy. For more information about the WLF, please visit

Further information RE:  “91% of learners out of school”