Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pratham Books is Hiring: UX Designer

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 three years, we have invested deeply in technology-based initiatives to further our mission. We are now looking for a Data Analyst as we significantly scale these initiatives.

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 two years, StoryWeaver has scaled from 800 stories in 24 languages to 7800 stories in 111 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.

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 an individual contributor 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.

We are looking for a UX designer to work closely alongside our Product Development team in Bangalore.
Illustration by Radhika Tipnis
We’re looking for a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual who strongly believes in the power of a Good user experience. You will work closely with the internal teams and other Design partners. The person needs to be an out-of-the box thinker and should be a strong believer and propagator of use of open technologies.

Key Responsibilities:
  • UX designs for new features and enhancements on the platform
  • Translate concepts into user flows, mockups and prototypes (use cases) that lead to intuitive user experiences (where the screen would fit in the current website flow)
  • Create workflows, customer journey maps and designs for requirements provided by the Product Development team
  • Requirements gathering/ internal interviews for better understanding of features
  • Take a user-centered design approach and rapidly test and iterate your designs
  • Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders
  • Web screen (browser-based) and Mobile responsive
  • Prototyping
  • User testing and documentation: testing  the  prototypes with key stakeholders, documenting the experience, etc. 
  • Support Content & Marcom teams on illustrations/ designs on a need basis

Location: Position is based out of Bangalore. Project is expected to complete within a 2 year time-frame.

Salary: Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Please send your resumé to with 'UX Designer' in the subject line of the email.

"Show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become." | Beyond the stereotype

Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has spoken eloquently and often of "the danger of a single story" -- and it is these "single stories" that help gender bias along. A single way of seeing how girls should look. How boys should be. What's acceptable. What's admirable.

When our Instagram friend, mommyingtales, reached out about her  campaign on #agenerationwithoutgenderbias, we were only to happy to put together a list of #genderpositive storybooks for kids.

We're committed to the idea of "many stories" about gender. Our stories feature everyday heroes like the motorbike-riding Games teacher, Miss Laya, and a grandmother who invents machines to do daily chores around the house. They shine a light on inspiring Indian role models like scientist, Anna Mani, and Olympic gymnast, Dipa Karmakar. They share the joy of a father cooking for his daughter, or a young boy, Kali, who pursues his love for Bharatanatyam. They walk us in the footsteps of girls who long to fly, or play football, or love to eat.

After all, as Adichie says, "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."

Here's a list of some of our favourite #genderpositive stories in different languages from Pratham Books. Just click to shop.

Meet Sooraj's inventive grandmother
Make friends with purple Puchku 
Be inspired by Dipa Karmakar
Meet brave little Ana
Riju and Manju teach you a thing or two about computers
Say hello to young Manikantan
Enjoy a hearty meal with Neema

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Building a Book Bank!

In 2016, NIPUN set up a campaign on the Donate-a-Book platform to raise funds for the kids they were working with. NIPUN is a non-profit organization that works towards enhancing the quality of life of the needy and the vulnerable. They are currently working with marginalized families who have migrated to Delhi from neighbouring states in search of employment. Casual labour, domestic services, rickshaw pullers and petty trading are among the major sources of livelihood. Many of the children in these families do not have access to education and this is the reason why NIPUN started a campaign to give these kids access to books - right at their doorstep!

Nipun was only able to raise 12% of the funds they needed and eventually received 118 books. But these books have already been read by hundreds of children in the J.J clusters of Meer Bagh, Delhi. The children have also enthusiastically created a library club in the community.

When asked about the experience of creating a campaign on Donate-a-Book platform :
“Due to funds constraint we could not set up a library for the underprivileged children but now due to this campaign we got books which are being used to set up the community library.”

If just 118 books could spread the joy of reading, imagine the magic many, many more books could create.

NIPUN has set up another campaign to help the children they serve have access to more books. They aim to empower underprivileged children with a special focus on girls. Presently around 600 children are enrolled at various centres where Nipun is providing them with pre-school and remedial education, and eventually mainstreaming them into Government School. NIPUN would like to create a book bank for these children to inculcate better reading habits, promote joyful learning and to reduce the drop-out rate.

Join them in their endeavour and help them get more books for their library! This monsoon, make it rain books on NIPUN's book bank campaign.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Opening a Book Together

“The kids couldn’t believe there was going to be a library in their school! First they kept asking whether a library was really going to be set up in their schools. When we said 'Yes!´ their eyes widened and we could catch a sparkle dancing in their eyes. When they saw that we were arranging the books, they offered to help (and actually helped as well).” 
- Ruchi Dhona (Founder, Let’s Open a Book)

What a heartwarming reaction to receiving books! All made possible by the generous donations to the campaign 'Let's Open a Book' started on our crowdfunding platform Donate-a-Book.

‘Let’s Open a Book’ was founded in January 2015. The idea came up when they started working on reviving an under-utilized library on an NGO campus. 

Since then, they have helped 15 government schools in Gurgaon and Spiti valley set up libraries on their campus, directly reaching over 1000 children. 

The Library-in-a-classroom kits are being given to those schools which do not have any existing libraries. Children can borrow books from these libraries to read. They also carry out fun activities such as read alouds, storytelling etc. 

When asked about the ease of setting up the campaign on our platform, Ruchi said “It was a very good experience as we could conveniently set up a books donation drive and send the link to people. It was really quite easy to set up the campaign”

Here is a little snapshot of where our books have reached :

Let’s Open a Book is aiming to reach 20 more schools in Spiti Valley this year. Help them reach their target by making a small donation towards their campaign on Donate-a-Book. Let us join hands together and help kids open a book!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Make Every Tree Count!

It's the last week of our #EnvironmentMonth celebrations, and we're doffing our hat to the lungs of the planet: trees. Beautiful, nurturing and providing comfort to those who seek it, trees are the lifeline of the planet. Here are some beautiful books that celebrate trees in all their glory and also include stories of people who go out of their way to save trees. Free to read, download and share, and available in multiple languages.

Chipko Takes Root by Jeyanthi Manokaran
Here is a story set in the hills that shows what bravery and grit can accomplish. Dichi, a brave Bhotiya girl takes part in the Chipko movement to save her beloved trees. Everybody in her village knows that trees give them all the important things in their life. Rapid deforestation in the Himalayan region of Alaknanda river caused floods in the 1970s and gave birth to a movement to save trees by hugging them. Read this heartwarming tale to learn the power of collective action as seen through the eyes of young Dichi.

Grandfather Goes on Strike by K.S. Nagarajan and Neeta Gangopadhya
Most grandfathers are content to lie back in an armchair and lazily read the day's newspaper. Not our tree loving senior citizen. He goes on strike for his beloved trees and a series of hilarious events liven up this entertaining tale. Read on to find out who saves the day and who saves the trees!

Up World, Down World by Padmaparna Ghosh and Sunaina Coelho
In a canopy forest in India, the Up World and Down World have always been suspicious of each other. But it all changes when Gopa the dormouse drops her book by accident on Fatima’s head. A story about the biodiversity of the canopy forests and friendship.

Let's Go Seed Collecting! by Neha Sumitran and  Archana Sreenivasan
Join Tooka, Poi, and their best friend Inji the dog, as they go around collecting seeds. The adventure begins when the three friends meet Pacha the tamarind tree.

Every Tree Counts by Praba Ram, Sheela Preuitt and Sangeetha Kadur
From the stately Deodar and colourful Coral to the majestic Banyan and common Pipal, the book takes children on a journey across varied landscapes as they count trees, and picture the uses of each tree. Look around you to find more trees, and learn what these terrific trees can do.

My Tree-Friend by Shreekumar Varma and Rae Zachariah
We all know trees are our friends. But can friends be trees too? Just like the fruits in Ammoomma’s trees, friends can be sweet, sour, or both!

A Walk Among Trees by Nimret Handa
Trees have been growing on our planet well before human beings appeared on it. Without their comforting shade and tasty fruit, our earth would be quite a barren place. Take a walk among trees in the King's orchard to savour the taste, the smell and the legends associated with bountiful fruit trees in India. You will feel refreshed by all that you learn!

Hope you enjoyed climbing up many trees through this post and enjoyed all the #EnvironmentMonth updates throughout the month of June!

Psssst : In case you missed our previous updates, read 'Time to Dive In' and 'Discover the Real Eco-Heroes' and 'Say Hello to the Little Creatures'

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Donate-a-Book Turns Three!

Para-para-paraaaaaa....Para-para-paraaaa. Donate-a-Book turns THREE today!

We are through with the not-so-terrible twos. As we turn a magical three, we look back at the last three years!
3 Years
348 Campaigns
1,33,602 Books Distributed
3,37,000+ Kids Impacted

Thank you ALL for being the best type of book buddy : the one who shares the joy of reading!

Like everyone else on the planet, we love getting presents for our birthday. This birthday, we want to ask you to create #TheBookMonsoon! We want it to rain books, books and more books. 

Help us raise funds for 3000 books in 30 days! 

The best part - this birthday gift will be shared with thousand of children across the country.

How to start #TheBookMonsoon
  • Choose from any of the campaigns listed below
  • Make a donation of your choice (Rs.250 = 6 books, Rs.500 = 12 books, Rs.1000 = 25 books, Rs.2500 = 62 books and Rs.5000 = 1 library kit)

You can start #TheBookMonsoon by donating books to  :

Let it rain books all across India.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Teaching Kids About the Environment

While we are busy reading books related to the environment, the folks at The Curious Reader are also doing the same. They have compiled 'a list of 21 books you can read to your kids to teach them about the environment and its wonders'. We are thrilled to find 10 of our books on this amazing list!

Illustration by ROSH

The Adventures Of Philautus Frog provides a glimpse of the magnificent forests and wildlife through the journey of a little frog called Philautus. He travels through the Western Ghats to reach the sea and along the way, he introduces children to many fascinating creatures.

Jadav And The Tree-Place is an inspiring picture story featuring Jadav ‘Mulai’ Payeng who planted a whole forest after seeing the plight of snakes that washed ashore because of a flood, and were then dying in the heat. Children will learn the benefits of planting trees through this wonderful story based on a real hero.

This picture book, Stick Your Tongue Out! teaches kids about animal tongues of various sizes, shapes, and colours and their various uses.

The best way to teach kids about the environment is through storytelling. The Case of the Missing Water is the story of Ranj who sets out to find the missing water after the tank in her village dries up. It is an interesting way to talk about the issue of water depletion and how it is caused.

Welcome to the Forest follows Tulsa, a visually impaired girl, who gets to visit Kanha Tiger Reserve with her school friends. With her and her friends, we also get to experience the forest through its sounds.

My City, My Dogs introduces us to the many street dogs of Mumbai, who share the city with its people, with the help of illustrations combined with photographs. 

The Little Bird In The Big Mountains tells the story of Meera, who rescues an injured bird while on her way to buy new shoes, and then takes care of it till it is well enough to fly away.

DIVE! uses beautiful and colourful images to provide a glimpse into the breathtaking world of coral reefs and introduces kids to some peculiar and fascinating sea creatures such as parrotfish, batfish, and clownfish. 

In Pishi Caught in a Storm, a huge manta ray fish, Pishi, was caught and wounded in a sea storm and the other fish help him treat his wounds. The book depicts, with the help of captivating images, how sea creatures help each other when needed. 

In Ghum-Ghum Gharial’s Glorious Adventures, Ghum-Ghum, the little alligator has lost her family on her very first swim and is on a quest to find them. She meets various sea creatures on her way to find her father.

You can read all these books for free by clicking on the above links. Click here to see the other books that made it to this list.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Say Hello to the Little Creatures

Week 3 of #EnvironmentMonth is here and who are we meeting this week? The little creatures called insects!

Insects have one of the largest biomass' of terrestrial animals. At any time, it is estimated that there are 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects alive. But even though they have numbers on their side, it's not easy being an insect. People are terrified of you before they even get to know you. You get called names like creepy crawly and bug. Worst of all, you get stomped on or sprayed at with poison. If people actually got to know the members of Family Insecta, they would realise what wonderful, hard working, diverse creatures belong to this group and how essential they are for our survival. Here are a set of picture books across reading levels, available in multiple languages, that teach young readers how to appreciate insects instead of fearing them.

Dragonflies have been on the earth much before human beings appeared! Read this account of their incredible life cycle in Ranjit Lal's effervescent style. Sanjay Sarkar's expert brush comes up with illustrations to match!

Why Do Bees Buzz by Nabanita Deshmukh and Zainab Tambawalla

Why can't bees work quietly? They buzz because there are some very good reasons to do so. Learn about the humble bees in this book.

An Umbrella for Druvi by Shabnam Minwalla and Malavika Tiwari
Druvi needs an umbrella to protect her wings from the rain. Join the dragonfly as she searches for the perfect leaf-umbrella.

Where Am I? by Priya Venkatesh and Karthikeyan S.
Can you spot the insects camouflaged in this spotting book?
Off to See Spiders by Vena Kapoor and Pia Meenakshi
OK. So technically, spiders are arachnids and not insects, but we can't help but inclue this lovely book here. Join Shivi and Kaveri as they go for a spider walk with their cool cousin Shama. Get ready to meet ant-mimic spiders, crab spiders and wolf spiders.
Hope you enjoyed meeting these little creatures with us! Tune in to our #EnvironmentMonth updates throughout the month of June!

Psssst : In case you missed our previous updates, read 'Time to Dive In' and 'Discover the Real Eco-Heroes'.