The Gyan Jyoti Literacy Programme launched in 1987 reached out to illiterate children, school drop-outs, illiterate men and women through informal learning centres. The project assisted several agencies in setting up and running literacy centres. A total of 25,000 individuals were helped through 1064 literacy centres spread in 8 Indian states namely Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. With this project (completed in 2001), most of the beneficiaries became functional literate and some of the dropouts reentered into the regular school system. Gyan Jyoti also helped the women to start credit unions and it increased the participation of women in community development and Panchayati Raj.