Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pratham Books is Hiring : Product Manager

Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in 2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India.

In the last 3 years, we have invested deeply in technology based initiatives to further our mission. We are now looking for an experienced Product Manager that can lead our digital projects as we significantly scale these initiatives.

About the Digital Properties

Pratham Books has two digital platforms - StoryWeaver and Donate-a-Book

Storyweaver is a digital platform that hosts stories in languages from India and beyond, so that every child can have an endless stream of stories in her mother tongue to read and enjoy. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free. All stories on the platform are openly licensed and the goal is to open source the code as well. In just one year, StoryWeaver has scaled from 800 stories in 24 languages to 2800 stories in 59 languages by engaging with a community of users. We want every child to have access to quality reading resources in their own language. 

StoryWeaver is being recognized as an emerging innovation that can transform the early literacy reader ecosystem globally. Our vision is for StoryWeaver to be the largest multilingual open library in the world for children by empowering communities to address the scarcity of reading resources in their mother tongue languages and scale the quantity and quality of content being produced.

Donate-a-book from Pratham Books is a unique, crowdfunding platform that helps raise funds for organizations that want to build children's libraries.

Job Description 

We are looking for a passionate individual wanting to make a difference, one who believes that technology can be a powerful enabler in creating equitable access to resources. 

This role requires a seasoned manager and technologist who can work effectively, both independently and collaboratively, in a team environment and deliver the project in a timely manner within allocated resources and budgets. The Product Manager will play a strategic role in defining the product roadmap, translating it into detailed requirements and developing a roadmap for delivery. S/he will work closely with the domain, outreach and content teams to define the user requirements which will guide feature development. All aspects of managing the project including the RFP process, vendor selection, hiring of people, documentation and project delivery will be managed by the Product Manager. 

The position will report to the Head of Digital Projects but also requires working closely with the top management. In a 3 year time-frame the project outcomes are expected to scale by 10x and the Product Manager will play a critical role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the platform at this scale. Most importantly the person needs to be an out-of-the box thinker and should be a strong believer and propagator of use of open technologies.

Responsibilities
  • Understand the user requirements and define the product roadmap 
  • Generate RFP’s and manage the process of technology vendor selection 
  • Prepare the user stories, documentation and compile the platform requirement and workflow documents
  • Scope and prioritize the product feature sets 
  • Work closely with technology vendors on all aspects
  • Ensure the project is done within the budgeted resources
  • Optimize the user experience 
  • Be an evangelist in the tech community to build awareness around the platform.
Mandatory Requirements
  • BTech/MSc/MCA degree in Computer Science or related disciplines
  • Proven work experience in product management 
  • Strong technical background with hands-on experience in open source web and mobile technologies 
  • Very good written and verbal communication skills
  • 8 -10 years of experience 
Nice to have but not mandatory
  • Experience working with non-profits. 
  • Domain knowledge in publishing industry, Indic language experience 
Location: This role is based out of Bangalore and is full-time. The project is expected to complete within a 3 year time-frame.

Salary: Compensation will be commensurate with experience. 

Interested candidates are requested to send in their resume to storyweaver@prathambooks.org.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pratham Books and the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Outreach


For the sixth year in a row, we are partnering with the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival and Teamwork Arts to manage to outreach component of the festival. The JLF Outreach creates a new generation of lovers...lovers of literature.

Young children in school learn to interact with books in many ways. As they learn language, they also get their first taste of literature in their text books, library books and books that their friends are reading. What can be more exciting for them than to meet the authors and illustrators who create these wonderful magical things called books!

The JLF Outreach takes the excitement of the world's finest literature festival right into their classrooms. Author interactions, readings, exciting discussions, and tips on writing...a truly rewarding experience for children and authors as they come face to face. This is one exchange of energy that can only have a positive outcome. The children leave the session with their head teeming with new ideas and their hearts full of the inexplicable joy of experiencing the magic of the word. The authors always come away charged with the energy that children carry- the energy of hope and finding a new generation of readers.

In its sixth year, the Outreach from January 16-25th, 2017 will be hosted in 100 schools in and around Jaipur in at least two languages.

Talks, readings, discussions, workshops, storytelling sessions for children as young as three to young adults in college will liven up the academic lives of more than 10,000 children.

Here are some pictures from this year's sessions:





A video posted by Rohini Vij (@rohinivijkhattar) on

We will also have a Pratham Books stall at the main festival. So, do visit our stall and get copies of your favourite books.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Double Treat for Book Lovers

Folks in Delhi and Chennai : You are in for a treat! Start the new year by adding some new books to your book collection. Pratham Books will be at the New Delhi World Book Fair and the Chennai Book Fair this month. Come along and find your favourite Pratham Books titles at :


Chennai Book Fair 
Eureka Book Stall, Stall no.37
6th - 19th January, 2017
2 pm - 9 pm (weekdays), 11 am - 9 pm (holidays)
St. George Angelo Indian Higher Secondary School, Opp Pachayappan College, Aminjikarai, Chennai

New Delhi World Book Fair
Hall No.18, Stall No.249
7th - 15th January, 2017
11 am - 8 pm (open till 5pm only on 15th January)
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

You can also join us for our event "Who is Bharat Mata - A Conversation with Syeda Hameed and Kamla Bhasin" at the New Delhi World Book Fair. 

Who is Bharat Mata? Is she a beautiful goddess bedecked with jewels, her hair spread across the map of India? Or is she the ordinary woman risen from the soil of our land imbued with a deep humanity speaking the language of love? Khwaja Ahmed Abbas's pen leaves you with lasting impressions of the true face of Bharat Mata. Eminent writers Syeda Hameed and Kamla Bhasin in conversation with children on his fascinating book Bharat Mata ke Panch Roop at 11.30 am on 11th January, 2017, at Children's Pavillion, World Book Fair, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Monday, December 19, 2016

A Wail of a Time with Greystoke at BLF 2016

Our author-illustrator Greystroke (a.k.a. Shyam Madhavan Sarada) made sure that everyone had a wail of a time at Bangalore Literature Festival 2016. His narration of the Chinese folktale 'Wailers Three' left everyone crying....mock howls and tears, of course! Doing a great impression of an old Chinese woman, and other characters, Greystroke demonstrated the timeless quality of folktales. 




In this, the fifth edition of Bangalore Literature Festival, children stayed on to make a character from the book, a donkey. Greystroke took them through the paces, and while many a 'donkey' had only one ear or none, and more sticking tape than tail, it was a happy occasion for kids and their parents to mess with paper and go hee haw hee haw. 






Thank you, Greystroke! And thanks to all who came to cheer us at BLF! 

PS: Greystroke is the illustrator of The Magic Powder, Three for Free and our very popular 'Sister, Sister..' science series. Do also read stories he has created on Pratham Books' Storyweaver. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Have A Wail Of A Time With Greystroke at the Bangalore Literature Festival

(Click on the image for a larger view)

Want to have A Wail of a Time at the Bangalore Literature Festival? Join our author-illustrator-storyteller Greystroke as he takes you to China to listen to the wailers three and go ha ha hee hee! Then get arty-crafty as you cut and stick stuff to make an animal that will make you go hee haw hee haw!

Date : 18th December, 2016
Venue : Royal Orchid Hotel, Indiranagar
Time : 3.30 pm - 4.30 pm

Register here for free entry to the festival. Also, loads of other fun activities and sessions will be happening especially for children. Check the entire schedule here.

Friday, December 9, 2016

When A New Library Opens...

The phone buzzed. Four new whatsapp messages received! And what do we see? Pictures of the brand new library at this government school in Chandrapur. 

Months ago, a teacher from the school (Shailesh) attended a StoryWeaver workshop on how to use the platform in his school. He also heard about the Donate-a-Book platform and started a campaign to get books into his school. Though his campaign didn't get fully funded, it was still a start. 206 books were lovingly packed and sent off to their destination - into the hands of the little readers! We shall let the pictures do the talking :) 





A huge thank you to all the donors who made this possible. 

You can help start a child's reading journey by making a small donation.
Will you donate a book today?

Announcing results: STEM Library Kits Grant Applications



A couple of months back we invited organisations and schools to apply for a free library with books that aim to spark curiosity and discovery in children. We had 100 libraries to give away, a treasure trove of books exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects and emotional intelligence through engaging narratives and eye catching illustrations.

We got over 120 unique application from 22 states in the country – each application notifying us of the exemplar work these schools and organisations were doing with children in the field of literacy. We really wish we could fulfill all the applications!

However, based on our guidelines, relevance of work and a rigorous evaluation, we have selected 29 beneficiaries for the grant.

  1. MANTRA Social Services
  2. Communities Rising
  3. Pratham Education Foundation, New Delhi
  4. Pratham Education Foundation, Rajasthan
  5. Selco Foundation
  6. 17000 ft Foundation
  7. Gyanoday Foundation
  8. Sewa International
  9. Isha Education
  10. Shiksharth
  11. Vidyarambam Trust
  12. Shree Raj Educational Centre
  13. Swatantra Talim Foundation
  14. Yuva Jagruthi Foundation
  15. Team Everest
  16. PRATIGYA
  17. Kevalya Education Foundation,Surat (Submitted by Swati Mehrotra)
  18. Diksha Foundation
  19. GRAMODAYA SAMAJIK SANSTHAN
  20. SRF Foundation
  21. PANCHAVATI RURAL DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (PANCHAVATI)
  22. Sun Shine Public School, Bangalore
  23. Shriram Matriculation School, Chennai
  24. Teach For India, Pune (Submitted by Jai Mishra)
  25. Balkrishna Deosthan Human Welfare Trust
  26. Pratham Education Foundation, Assam
  27. Zilla Parishad High School, Gundlapochampally, Telangana
  28. ADARSH HINDI HIGH SCHOOL (PRIMARY SECTION), West Bengal
  29. Piramal foundation for education leadership, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Congratulations! We will stay in touch with you on next steps.
Thank you to everyone who applied. We will keep you posted on other upcoming grants.


Friday, December 2, 2016

Are You Going to the Kahaani Festival in Jaipur?


The year is almost ending but the fun is definitely not stopping. Head to the Kahaani Festival happening in Jaipur on 5th and 6th December.

The Kahaani festival is a children's festival, which explores and reimagines the art of storytelling through oral traditions, music, theatre, dance and puppetry along with various other art forms.Taking learning beyond the classroom, the Kahaani festival-through workshops, performances and storytelling sessions- creates an atmosphere for children to freely explore the realm of their imagination and creativity Produced by Teamwork Arts, the Kahaani festival travels across India with stories and storytellers from all around the world. Beyond the conventional forms of storytelling, the festival also features artists with unique styles providing them with a platform to showcase their art.

Entry to the event is free but do register for the event.

Visit the festival website for more details about the event.