Monday, December 31, 2012

Bal Vividha Children's Knowledge Festival


Those of you who will be in the vicinity of Jamnagar during 4-5-6 January 2013, please make a note of this!

bal vividha children's knowledge festival of Comet Media Foundation is on at Kandla Port Trust Township just near Vadinar. This time the theme is maths:"Playing with numbers" in keeping with the International Mathematical Union's declaration of the year 2013 as The Year of Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE).

There will be shapes and structures, origami, rangoli, constructing of 3-D geometric shapes, games of strategy, children's science exhibitions and lots more to do with understanding maths. On sale will be children's literature in Gujarati, English and Hindi, educational
toys and other learning materials.

Contributing to the festival are some of the leading organisations working in the area of science communication in the country: ARCH of Dharampur Gujarat, Adhyayan of Mumbai, Centre for Environment
Education of Ahmedabad, Community Science Centre of Rajkot, Eklavya of Bhopal, Jeevantirth of Gandhinagar, Learning Ladder of Mumbai, Navnirmiti of Mumbai, Origami Mitra of Mumbai, Sarjan of Ahmedabad, Shishu Milap of Baroda. The festival is sponsored by Essar Oil Ltd and hosted by the Kandla Port Trust. The main invitees are the children of government schools in the area, but all others are welcome and must not miss this opportunity.

To prepare yourself to get there: Google up "IOCL Vadinar Gujarat" on Google map, you will get markers A & B. Look a little south east of that, the neighbouring compound is Kandla Port Trust Township, but it
is not labelled by Google. You will see a typical govt housing colony with rows of "quarters" with a squarish football field in the middle of the houses almost at the end of the colony. That is our mela location.

We will be in the squarish field at the end of the township from 4th morning till 6th evening, 9.00 to 5.00 everyday.

If you have any queries about the mela, hop on to the Comet Media Foundation facebook page and ask them.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hansa

Our friends from Aarohi wrote to us to inform us that one of the students from Aarohi Bal Sansar was acting in the film 'Hansa'. Suraj Negi, is the lead actor of the film directed by Manav Kaul. The film has already won two 'Best Film' awards: Audience Choice as well as the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) award at the Osian Cinefan film festival.

The film releases in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat theatres today (28 December) and runs through till 3 January.

We've seen the trailer and it looks great! If you are in Bangalore, the shows are at :
PVR Forum Mall, Koramangala: 7.30 PM
PVR Orion Mall, Malleshwaram: 10.00 PM

About the Movie
The Central Himalayas are what most consider an idyllic world. Below the eternally snow clad peaks are several villages. These are largely dependent on agriculture. The roads that pass by them connect them with urban areas, which even now retain an almost-mythical distance. The city however has begun to move in, with resource stress, dubious land deals and conflicts being the result.

The film accurately depicts the issues facing rural Himalayan communities today. Changing land use, urban migration, resource stress are all present in the world that Cheeku and Hansa must negotiate. At its heart, Hansa however remains a story about the resilience and magic of childhood..

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Quick Recap : Contests, Book Fairs and Discounts!

We just realized that we are doing so many things at the moment that it may be tough to keep track of what's happening. So, here's a quick recap to update you on all the fun we are having and all the fun stuff you can be a part of.

1. LAST DAY TO VOTE FOR OUR STORYCARD PROJECT

It may or may not be the end of the world. But it surely is the last day to vote for our storycard project. The last chance for you to help us win a grant. We need your support and we need it NOW.



(The easiest way to vote is by calling +912261850908 from your mobile. It is free! )

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2. THIS CHRISTMAS, SPREAD THE JOY OF READING

This Christmas you can make a difference by gifting the joy of reading. Gift your little kids books that will help them experience and explore the world of creativity and imagination at its best. We've created different book packs according to different reading levels. Make sure you avail the offers offered this festive season.

To buy or gift the Pratham Books' bookpack, click here.


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3. CALLING ALL BANGALORE BOOKWORMS


We also have a stall at the Bangalore Book Festival 2012. The festival includes in depth discussions and forums with prominent authors, over 307 book stalls and thousands of books in different languages.

Be sure to stop by the Pratham Book stall and check out our special book sets and offers!

The book fair is on till 23rd December, 2012
Venue: Tripuravasini, Palace grounds, Bangalore
Stall No: 242



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4. GET YOUR STORY FEATURED IN OUR 2013 CALENDAR

Join us in a special story-weaving contest? We'll give you a set of words, linked to a particular place in India, and you have to dream up a story of your own, using those words.Weave your own story in less than 100 words. The winning stories will be featured on our blog and on our 2013 calendar.

Click here for more details on the contest.

Entries open for children below 14 years only!


The contest ends on 26th December 2012.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pratham Books Calendar 2013 contest


 Pratham Books is all set to launch a special calendar for 2013. This calendar features a different place on every page, so you discover a new location in India with every passing month. Know Meghalaya, Kutch, Tawang, Hampi, Andamans, Gopalpur a little more closely through delightful illustrations and quirky facts that are sure to put a smile on your face! What's more you can weave your own little story and get featured on our calendar!

How to participate:
Choose your favorite place from the ones mentioned below. Take the key words associated with the place and weave your own story in less than 100 words. Winning stories from each place will get featured in our 2013 calendar.
Entries open for children below 14 years only!

Where and how to send the entry:
Send your entries to contest@prathambooks.org
The entries need to be sent in a word document.
Entries in English, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Urdu and Bengali are welcome.
Don't forget to mention your name, age and contact numbers in the email.

Contest Deadline:
Like all good things contest ends 26th December 2012. Only entries with the words given below will be eligible for the contest. Choose any place from the ones given below and use all the words associated with that place in your story!

Choose any one from the word -worlds given below:
•    Meghalaya: Thanksgiving | Jingbam | Riverside | Elephants | Rain
•    Kutch: Wildlife | Script | Ports | Largest | Embroidery
•    Tawang: Hello | Tea | Momos | Noodles | People
•    Wayanad: Caves | Eucalyptus | Elephants | Coffee | Fire
•    Sunderbans: Tiger | Goddess | Tidal wave| Boat | Forest
•    Andamans: Barking | Island | Lighthouse | Japanese | Jail
•    Ladakh: Telescope | Archery | Schools | Trails | Delicious
•    Bastar: Goddess | Myna | Road | Waterfall | Cave
•    Gopalpur-on-Sea: Lighthouse | Sunrise | Dolphin | Crab | Cargo
•    Hampi: Monkey | Forts | Visitors | Music | Stonemason
•    Jaisalmer: Library | Mirror-work | Fort | Border | Sand stone
•    Kolhapur: Chappal | Misal | Demon | Statue | Temples

Some sample stories to get you thinking:
Tawang: Hello | Tea | Momos | Noodles | People
Momos in Tawang
Gyume liked to eat noodles. He liked to eat momos even more. They were big, and steamed, and tasty and made him feel so happy! One day,when all the people he knew were away at work, he walked to the riverside to sit and dream about momos. Suddenly it started raining. A kitten started mewing. Gyume picked up the wet kitten and ran to let it into a hut that he saw nearby. "Hello, anybody home?" asked Gyume. "Oh thank you for bringing Kitty in," said an old lady. "Here, have these fresh momos, boy! And I'll make you some hot tea too. Happy New Year!" Gyume was so happy this was not a dream!


Wayanad : Caves | Eucalyptus | Elephants | Coffee | Fire
We were sipping hot coffee around a campfire when we heard a group of elephants trumpeting in the lush forests of Wayanad. The elephants looked a bit irate. Wonder what had offended them! Akash thought it was because we did not share our coffee and elephants must be coffee lovers. Bindya, influenced by hindi films tried to drug the elephants with a her duppata dipped in eucalyptus oil. This only seemed to aggravate them more! Finally we were able to take refuge in a cave. Ahhhh were those bats that we saw............and then we ran!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This Christmas spread Cheer, Joy and the Love of Reading.

Image source: Pratham Books
With Christmas round the corner and festivities in the air, it is the season to share, care and rejoice.
This Christmas you can make a difference by gifting the joy of reading. Gift your little kids books that will help them experience and explore the world of creativity and imagination at its best. 

Pratham Books brings out a fabulous spread of books this Christmas. Each of these books are put together according to the reading levels. From adventure to travel and animals to vegetables you will find an exciting range under the Pratham Books roof. The various book packs are going to be an absolute delight not just for the kids but just about anyone and everyone. Make sure you avail the offers offered this festive season and spread goodwill.

So what are you waiting for? This Christmas, gift books and spread smiles with Pratham Books.
To buy or gift the Pratham Books pack click here.

What are Story Cards?


Since we've been nominated as one of the contenders for the 'Spark the Rise Challenge', we've been talking about story cards all the time. But many of you may not know what story cards are (by the way : we've already managed to get 10million story cards to kids across India).

So, here's a short little post to give you more information on these cards :

The story of the Storycards is an interesting one! They are a living example of making an effort to reach the last child... Pratham Books has always been committed to increase penetration so that ALL children have access to good reading material. As Pratham's programmes began to touch the lives of more and more children through the READ India Campaign, there was a need for low cost material that could be distributed to the children. This was how the idea of creating story cards out of Pratham Books' titles germinated. In economically disadvantaged states, even the cost of a Pratham Books title would make it a discretionary buy whereas a story card can strengthen and encourage reading at a fraction of the cost and can be an attractive and motivational takeaway for a child. 
Read the entire article here

Rajesh Khar, from our editorial team, adds :

They were dramatically cheaper than books and could be printed in large numbers within the same budget as books/ reading material. The story cards looked different and gave Pratham the option of giving 'individual reading material' to children for the first time.

Educators have mentioned that the story cards are 'not intimidating like the books' for the first generation of rural kids who have barely started reading or are still struggling to learn letters/words. Children can finish a card in a shorter time duration and hence cards are more manageable in classrooms.

Rukmini Banerji from Pratham Books talks about the use of storycards :


SO, HOW DO WE PLAN TO USE THE GRANT IF WE WIN IT?


Our project is an innovation in the publishing industry that takes learnings from the FMCG industry – a sachet of stories! A sachet that contains 5 different story cards at just Rs. 20. Story cards are cheaper than a book but still have a book-like feel in terms of shape, size, colour and matter! They have helped millions of children improve their reading skills because of their enjoyable stories, colourful illustrations and are presented in a durable, laminated format. The story card sachets will be retailed at kirana stores and railways stations in tier 2 and 3 towns where access to good reading material is an issue.


Empowering parents and children alike by making story cards available and accessible, at a price that they can afford - that's our idea, our innovation, our spark. Like it? Vote for it?

Read the entire project proposal here.


HOW CAN YOU HELP?




1. Give a missed call from your mobile phone. Call +912261850908 with your mobile phone to vote. A confirmation SMS will be sent to you after your call. Missed call votes will not be accepted from landlines. Only Indian mobile numbers can vote.


2. Alternatively you can also vote via SMS. Type in - MHRISE<SPACE>P06880 and send it to 54646
(Charges : Rs.3 per SMS) 

3. If you’d rather vote online, you can do so by visiting the site, registering on it and then voting. You can't vote without registering on the site.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Know more about our story cards on Facebook


Image source: LeadsFinderSoftware
We have been short-listed for Mahindra’s Spark the Rise challenge and so far we have managed to rake in about a 1000+ votes. However, we need more votes to ensure that the story cards reach the children. The last few days we have extensively bloggged, tweeted and posted about story cards on Facebook. We had a Twitter chat last week where a lot of questions were answered and discussions were held around story cards. This week we are having a Facebook chat for all of you.
Join us for a Facebook chat on the 18th December 2012 at 3pm and feel free to ask us all your questions regarding the story cards. We need your support and votes to help us get to the next level.

Help us make a difference, help us spread the joy of reading.

Join us on Facebook here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Spectacular book show at the Bangalore Book Festival

After the Bangalore Literature Festival, the festivities continue with the same fervour and zest with the Bangalore Book Festival. This 10-day books extravaganza is being celebrated along with the Sahityotsava which aims at promoting Book culture and reading habits among the young generation.

While the Bangalore Book Festival is being held for 10 days, the Sahityotsava will be held for 3 days and will host prominent authors. The Sahityotsava as well as the Bangalore Book Festival will see books and literature from different states and different languages in India come together for a grand display.

Don’t forget to visit our Pratham Books stall there. Our stall number is 242 at Tripuravasini, Palace grounds, Bangalore.

The Schedule for the event is as follows:

Day-1: 14th December, 4.00 pm
Inauguration and Presidential address by: Prof. Chandrashekara Kambara, President of Advisory Committee - Bengaluru Sahityotsava

Day-2: 15th December 2012
Session 1: 10 to 11.30 am - Promotion of Inter Literature Understanding.
Participating Writers:

1. Dr. Rajendra Chenni - Kannada
2. Dr. Su Venkateshan - Tamil
3. Dr. Siddalinga Pattanashetty - Kannada
4. Sri. M. P. Veerendrakumar – Malayalam
Moderator: Sri. Sugatha S. Raju

Session 2: 12 noon to 1.30 pm- Writers and Contemporary Issues
Participating Writers:

1. Sri. Anandan - Malayalam
2. Sri. Devanur Mahadeva - Kannada
3. Dr. Samala Sadashiva - Telugu
4. Dr. Bargur Ramachandrappa -Kannada
Moderator: Dr. Natraj Huliyar

Session 3: 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm - Book Talk and Dialogue with Writers
Participating Writers:

1. Dr. Girish Karnad - Kannada
2. Su. Kandaswamy - Tamil
3. Dr. C. Narayana Reddy – Telugu


Session 4: 4.30 pm to 6 pm - Book Talk and Dialogue with Writers
Participating Writers :

1. Dr. S. L. Byrappa - Kannada
2. Sri. M. T. Vasudevan Nair - Malayalam
3. Sri. Sithakantha Mahapatra – Oriya

Day-3 : 16th December 2012
Session 1: 10 am to 11.30 am - Freedom of Expression and Social Harmony
Participant Writers:

1. Smt. Chitra Mudugal - Hindi
2. Prof. C. N. Ramachandran - Kannada
3. Prof. H. S. Raghavedra Rao -
4. Dr. Ramakanth Rath - Oriya
Moderator: Dr. K. E. Radhakrishna

Session 2: 12 noon to 1.30 pm - Writers and Inter-Linguistic issues
Participant Writers:

1. Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah - Kannada
2. Dr. M. Mukundan - Malayalam
3. Dr. Hampa Nagarajiah - Kannada
4. Sri. Sayad saleem - Telugu
Moderator: Sri. O. L. Nagabushana Swamy

Session 3: 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm - Poets Meet and Recital of Poetry
Participating Poets:

Dr. Viswanath Prasad Tiwari – ( Presiding)
1. Sri. Sachidanandan - Malayalam
2. Dr. Siddalingaiah - Kannada
3. Sri. Nagesh Karmali - Konkani
4. Amrutha Somashekar - Tulu
5. Sri. Utpala Sathyanarayanacharya - Telugu
6. Smt. Vanitha - Punjabi
7. Sri. Kailash Vajpeyee - Hindi
8. Sri. Amar Somoy Alpa - Bengali
9. Sri. Khaleel Mamoon - Urdu
10. Prof. S G Siddaramiah
11. Sri. Srihari - Gujarati
12. Sri. Sowbhagyakumar Mishra - Oriya
13. Sri,Vairamuttu - Tamil
14. Sri. Chandrakanth Patil - Marathi
15. Sri. Chandraprakash Deval - Rajasthani
16. Dr. K. S. Nisar Ahamad - Kannada.
17. Dr.Chennaveera Kanavi - Kannada
18. Smt. Harish Minashru - Gujarati
19. Smt. H. L. Pushpa - Kannada
20. Dr. Ajaikumar Singh - Kannada.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For the love of asking questions! Lata Mani, author of Laxman's Questions interacts with children at NPS, Hsr Layout, Bangalore


Lata and I reach the venue well ahead of time and are impressed with the wonderful arrangements made by the school management. We are happy to hear that the 4th grade students have a course on writing a novel and are eager to meet Lata as this is their first interaction with an author and they are eager to get first hand tips!

Lata reads from her book “Laxman's Questions” as all children listen to Lata's impeccable English in pin-drop silence. One would think the kids were rather silent, but just as Lata asked if anyone had a question we saw a room full of hands go up in the air. The first question itself saw all 90 students get divided over their response - Is this book fiction or non-fiction?


Children were curious to know how Lata became a children's book author. And the story was quite cute! Lata's nephew gautam who stayed in the US had made Lata promise him that she would write stories for him. Thats what got Lata started. The bright students then came to the next question – Why did she choose this topic for the story and Lata took the kids back many many years when Bangalore was not so developed and from her room window she saw children climbing tamarind trees and kids riding bullock carts. It was this experience that she wanted to familiarize Gautam with and thereby developed the plot of “Laxman's Questions”.



Why did you decide to become an author? How many days did you take to write the story? How did you choose which questions to add in the story? The questions continued and we were not complaining!

About the author:
Lata Mani is a historian and cultural critic who began writing children’s stories at the request of her nephew Gautam. Her first two books for children, The Tamarind Tree and The Spider’s Web were published by Tulika Books in 2009. She has also authored the book Laxman's Questions, published by Pratham Books.

About the book:
Laxman’s head was full of questions: Why did seeing a bird fly make him happy? Did the birds who saw him feel just as happy? Read this book to see if you have such questions too.

Pratham Books -BLF outreach:

This session was conducted as part of an outreach program preceding the Bangalore Literature Festival. Pratham Books took the excitement of books right into the schools across the city. Pratham Books reached out to schools that were part of the Deccan Herald Newspaper in Education (DHNIE) program and also to Government and community libraries through Akshara Foundation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Find answers to all your questions on the Story cards

Illustration in Progress II
Since the last few days you have read and re-read our blog, tweets and Facebook posts on Spark the Rise and our story cards. Pratham Books has been shortlisted in Mahindra’s Spark the Rise challenge. We need your support through votes to help us move to the next level in the challenge - to help us get tons of storycards in the hands of children.

While we have tried to get through our idea of the story cards through blogs, Facebook posts and tweets, we would be more than happy to answer your questions, hear about your ideas, etc. Join us on 13th December 2012 at 3pm on Twitter and feel free to ask us questions about the project and the story cards. Make sure to send your tweets with the hashtag #PBCards.

Tweet your hearts out and help us spread the joy of reading!

P.S - In case you don't follow us on Twitter, our Twitter handle is @prathambooks.

Image Source : eston/ Eston Bond

Pratham Education Fellowhsip


What is the Fellowship?

The Pratham Education Fellowship is a full-time, paid commitment that aims to develop talented graduates and young professionals into leaders within the education sector of India. Fellows will work in various different roles, directly impacting low-income schools.

The fellowship program provides a challenging opportunity with on the ground experience in implementing large-scale education interventions. Pratham will provide fellows with rigorous initial training followed with ongoing skill and leadership development.

In the upcoming year both available fellowships will be with the Learn, Out of the Box Program.

What Fellowships are offered?

We are currently offering two distinct fellowship opportunities:
  • Management Fellowship – A two year fellowship program where fellows will develop their management skills by directly managing a field team of up to 10 people to implement the project in specific states.
  • Training Fellowship – A one year fellowship program where fellows will be developed into Master Trainers who will then work directly and closely with school teachers, providing them training and support through the program.
Learn more about the fellowship. The deadline for the fellowship is 4th January 2013, 5:00 PM IST.

The Great Build-A-Taranaut Contest


Via Taranauts

It’s time to get crafty! The next book in your favourite series – Taranauts: The Magic of the Dazl Corals – is due out in May 2013! If you want to be part of the mastastic eighth and final book, Do.Not.Forget. to take part in the Build A Taranaut contest. All winners will not only get super prizes, their names will also appear in the book!

I WANT TO TAKE PART! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

All you have to do is what the contest line says – you have to BUILD A TARANAUT! Actually, you don’t have to stick with Zarpa, Zvala and Tufan, you can build ANY CHARACTER you like from the Taranauts series.

Does that sound exciting or what? Rush to www.taranauts.com for more details - and get building!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Water conservation discussed with Pratham Book's “The Lakes of Darbhanga”.


Dodda Banasawadi Upper Primary school welcomed us with a large playground, freshly painted walls and a loud 'good afternoon Miss chorus from the children. Bhavya, a translator at Pratham Books and a young enthusiastic story teller had agreed to conduct 3 sessions here as a part of BLF outreach. The story was the same for all the sessions: Darbhanga Keregalu (Lakes of Darbhanga) written by Anupam Mishra and illustrated by Prashant Soni. The story talks about a Pandit, who keeps up his promise made to the midwife who helped deliver his first child and how the Dai uses the wealth for the welfare of the whole village.

The idea was to present the story with varying degrees of simplicity depending on the grade and engage children in a water conservation dialogue.

We started with a bunch of 30+ 5th grade students. They enjoyed the story. They had a heated discussion over whether the Dai did the right thing by spending the wealth on the lakes. Many felt she should have provided better housing to folks. The conversation concluded with the idea that judicious use of water is most important.

6th graders about 30+ students wanted to know what the crucial problem was that led the king to seek a young boy's advice.  Bhavya used her imagination well in answering that as the author has not specified the reason in the book. Here the details got more vivid and the conservation methods used in India were discussed at length. The children mentioned that around the corner from their school the local administration was building a lake to hold water for future use. The librarian confirmed this little piece of information with us.

7th grade students could read the book themselves; they also read the BLF English banner haltingly. They enjoyed the story. Again housing seemed to be first choice to spend the wealth on. It perhaps reflected the conversations at home and the aspiration for a better environment. The story session concluded with a task of children locating Bihar on the India map and marking Mithilanchal district.

The Headmistress and the students invited Pratham Books to return soon with more stories, while we returned with the satisfaction of having done a job well.

Vegetables play their part in the BLF outreach program.


As a part of the BLF outreach program in association with Deccan Herald we went to Devamatha Central School, Vidyaranyapura.  Radha HS, author of Onion’s Shawl was there to tell the onion’s story to a bunch of happy kids of the 2nd and 3rd standard. She started with some chatter about how vegetables are different looking, how no one vegetable is the best or the greatest. Then she read the story, discussed how everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Children looked in amazement as she added and subtracted words to form new words. With these rebus puzzles, she formed some vegetable names with pictures. She also asked children if they are aware of alternate uses for vegetables, as in dyes and decoration.
For the older class, she introduced them to parts of the book like the spine, the front page, the back page, the stapling, stitching, using gum for binding etc. She also talked about the process and the people involved namely the author, the illustrator, the printer, the publisher etc.
As the session drew to an end, the children had come up with many more words  and were brimming with happy smiles for they had learnt maths of a different kind.
(Car + (parrot-par)) = carrot! Have you ever tried addition and subtraction with words like this?  If not, give it a try.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meet us at the Bangalore Literature Festival


Yesssss, quite some action planned for this weekend at the first Bangalore Literature Festival!

Pratham Books, an outreach partner of BLF, is bringing Sringeri Srinivas to town, and this quirky farmer is looking for some fun! Join this long-haired character created by Noni, also known as Rohini Nilekani, as she narrates his crazy adventure in her book Annual Haircut Day. City-based theatre company Version Dot One will engage children in a dramatic expression of the stories.

On Day 2, we'd like you to join us for a short musical tour of India, with its delightful seasons. Mala Kumar , author of the Rituchakra series will read from the 5-books set while Manoj Seshan will provide the music in ragas associated with each season. After a coffee break on this wintry day, you are invited to stay on for a smart science session. Roopa Pai, author of the popular Sister, Sister series will talk about mad motorcyclists in the sky. She will also team up with Cloud Mentor to show you how to experiment with science. 

8th December, 3.30pm Annual Haircut Day with Noni (Rohini Nilekani)
Near Banquet Hall, Jayamahal Palace

9th December, 3.15pm Season's Greetings! with Mala Kumar
Near Banquet Hall, Jayamahal Palace

9th December, 4.40 pm Curious Questions about Science with Roopa Pai
Near Banquet Hall, Jayamahal Palace


There are other events also happening as part of 'Makkala Koota' - the special section for children's children. Check the schedule for more information.

And while your tiny tots are busy having fun, you can also attend some interesting sessions at the  Bangalore Literature Festival! Click here to view the entire schedule.

The Times of India also carries an article on 'Young readers can book a date with writers at the Bangalore literature festival' : 
"As part of the run-up to the BLF, we created an outreach programme, during which we organized reading and storytelling sessions in various Bangalore schools in collaboration with Pratham Books," says Shinie Antony, co-founder of the festival who has also authored a children's book, 'Goddy Tales'. Close to 1,000 children from various city schools were entertained by authors like Roopa Pai, Kanchan Bannerjee, Radha HS, Mala Kumar and Vidya Mani, translators Bhavya M and Meera Tushar, and author-illustrator Greystroke. 
During the three-day event, three sessions with children will run parallel with the festival proper. On Saturday, Pratham Books founder and author Rohini Nilekani will interact with kids while reading from her book 'Annual Haircut Day'. "The children's section at BLF is a small step towards creating a larger ecosystem for children's writing in Bangalore and in the country; an ecosystem that will include writers, illustrators, designers and readers and will foster the growth of this often-neglected section of Indian writing," says Nilekani.
Pratham Books editor author Mala Kumar will take an interesting session on Sunday, that will incorporate reading (from her Rituchakra series of books on India's seasons) and music, with vocalist Manoj Seshan performing ragas associated with each season. 
Author Roopa Pai, whose fantasy series for young readers, Taranauts, was a huge hit at the recently concluded Bookaroo children's litfest in Delhi, will also conduct a session on Sunday, on her other series 'Sister Sister', answering questions that will demystify science. 

Pratham Books kicks off the outreach program at BLF with Happy Maths.

 As the Bangalore Literature Festival outreach program kicked off, our Editor Mala met some bright and happy students.'What would you ask for if you had a king who was ready to grant you anything?' asked Mala, while narrating the story of Vidyasagar and his strange request. The students of class 4, Deccan International School came up with many strange and not so strange requests and then the author of the Happy Maths series revealed that Vidyasagar asked for a circular plot of land with a certain perimeter.

This and many other interesting things came up at the outreach programme that Pratham Books has been doing in partnership with Deccan Herald's school programme and Akshara Foundation. Pratham Books is the outreach partner for the first Bangalore Literature Festival that starts on December 7, 2012. In her second session at the school, Mala narrated the story of Vinoba Bhave's pious mother and their experiments with rice grains. "There is a machine in Punjab that can count rice grains," insisted one student. On the whole, much number-crunching and tall tales happened in such a lively manner that the kids lost track of time and almost missed their school bus home! She really should have read from her book Time and Money, the third in the Happy Maths series.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Help Pratham Books Spark a Rise!

We've got some great news! We've been shortlisted as one of the contenders for the 'Spark the Rise Challenge'. We could win a grant to execute the project we've submitted. But we can only do so with your help and your votes! We need only a few seconds of your time (promise - just a few seconds).

The project we've submitted is a 'multiple language story card sachet'. As low cost as our books are, we have always believed that we need to experiment with innovative formats to push the price points lower and we are on the verge of breaking new ground with our story cards (mini books) in an ‘accessible & affordable to all’ sachet format .

A kirana shop with a Pratham Books Story Card Sachet
Success of our story cards at schools has inspired us to think of ways to reach these story cards to children at an easily accessible kirana store or a shop around the street corner in a sachet. A transparent sachet contains 5 different story cards at very affordable price point of Rs 20. Each story card is a story written and illustrated to fit a folded A4 size paper in 4 colours and laminated to last for at least 2-3 years. And these come in many language options too!

Story card examples

Story card sachet

We stand to win a grant from the Spark the Rise challenge and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to make this dream real. We need your backing now! A phone call, an SMS or the click of button is all we need to help bring these story cards to stores in India. 

Help Pratham Books reach out to many more children and readers
 by voting for our project on Spark the Rise.


HOW CAN YOU HELP?




1.  Give a missed call from your mobile phone. Call +912261850908 with your mobile phone to vote. A confirmation SMS will be sent to you after your call. Missed call votes will not be accepted from landlines. Only Indian mobile numbers can vote.

2. Alternatively you can also vote via SMS. Type in - MHRISE<SPACE>P06880 and send it to 54646
(Charges : Rs.3 per SMS) 

3. If you’d rather vote online, you can do so by visiting the site, registering on it and then voting. You can't vote without registering on the site.


Thank you for your votes :)

P.S - If you have any queries about the project, please write to us at web(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

Rukmini Banerji from Pratham talks about the use of storycards

**********
Pratham Books is a book publisher with a difference and with an audacious mission – to see a book in every child’s hand. We were founded on a cold January morning in 2004 and who would have imagined that in eight years we would have published 1570 children’s books in 11 Indian languages, distributed 10 million books and 10 million story cards to over 1,10,000 schools and libraries across 21 states and with a readership of over 25 million children.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Madness Mandali invites entries for The Water Glass Project.

Image source:  Madness Mandali
The Madness Mandali is back with their yet another innovative and adventurous venture aptly named The Water Glass Project. This creative group consists of professional poets, painters, designers, photographers, musicians and theatre troupes who are habituated to combining the beauty of written words with the
effervescence and vitality of light and colour, which is finally topped off with the dynamism of performance art.

The Water Glass Project (TWGP) is a month-long, concerted fiction novel writing challenge, where teams of two to five writers will be expected to write an original novel with more than point-of-view. The length of the novel should be between 20 to 30 thousand words. The winning novel will be published and promoted by Madness Mandali at no cost to the winners.

The challenge will run from 1st January 2013 to 31st January 2013. Registrations will be accepted from 1st December 2012 to midnight of 30th December 2012. Entry is FREE for anyone except those who have published an entire novel (self-published or otherwise). Those featured in journals and anthologies are welcome to participate.

To know more click here.
To register for TWGP click here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our experience at the Bookaroo Fest.


Our Editor Mala Kumar writes about the Bookaroo Lit Fest in Delhi.
We've just got back from wintry Delhi after a wonderful time at the fifth edition of Bookaroo Lit Fest. Many of our authors and illustrators were at the 3-day event in the beautiful Sanskriti Kendra. The lawns were full of colourfully dressed kids. Clearly, both parents and children were spoilt for choice since there were so many interesting sessions happening simultaneously! We caught a large number of little kids hanging on to every word as our author Anupa Lal narrated a funny ghost story. We watched children reciting kadak-KADA-KADDAKKK as they followed Paro Anand's story about Bhabhloo Bear, illustrated by Suvidha Mistry. Natasha Sharma, author and illustrator of Kaka and Munni, had her hands full being the wicked Kaka, and the narrator, and getting children to make colourful collage work.

My colleague Manisha and I read from our books, the Rituchakra Series, illustrated by Priya Kuriyan. May I say that it was the perfect weather for an event around the seasons! A nip in the air, breezy, wintry sun! And the singing by Sanghamitra Ghosh was so melodious, and the little bit in Raag Miyan ki Malhar so true, that it actually rained! Umm...well, we cheated---our colleagues Rajesh and Suraj made it 'rain' while Sandhya waved a dupatta to create the ambiance. The next day's session was a reading from our newest book, Rukmini Banerji's Counting on Moru, illustrated by Nina Sabnani. As a tribute to Moru, the fellow who loves numbers, and to the great mathematician Srinivasan Ramanujam, whose 125th birth anniversary it is this year we conducted a maths activity. The beautiful terracotta horses at the open museum of terracotta art lent themselves very well to mathematical problems indeed!
From one book fest to another, we've jumped right into being the outreach partners for Bangalore Literary Fest. More about that in another blog post.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bangalore makes way for its very own Literature Festival.

Image source: http://www.bangaloreliteraturefestival.org/
 Festivities in Bangalore city touch a new height with the Bangalore Literature Festival which will be hosted from the 7th December to 9th December 2012 at the Jayamahal Palace.
The festival welcomes everyone from bookworms to casual book browsers, from bibliophiles to new readers. Everyone is welcome to his fest where books, writing and literature get together to create a beautiful world of unabashed creativity.

The logo for this magnificent event shows a berunda on a nib which is a significance of the vehemence and the zeal with which the idea of a Literature Festival was welcomed. This festival is going to be a platform where authors belonging to different genres and writing in different languages will stand together.

While Kannada literature will be given prominence, Hindi and Urdu literature are equally encouraged and lauded. The 3 day event is going to be abuzz with lot of literary activities and the event will be graced by the prominent Literati from all over the country.

 Pratham Books is proud and happy to be associated as an outreach partner for this mega event. We will be would be instrumental in ensuring that the Literature festival is inclusive and has sessions for children as well. Pratham Books will be conducting these sessions in English and Kananda. For the outreach program Pratham Books has partnered with Deccan Herald Newspaper in Education and Akshara Foundation so that the joy of reading can be spread to children across the city. Children will have an opportunity to interact with Pratham Books'  authors/translators/ illustrators  such as Lata Mani, Roopa Pai, Mala Kumar, Bhavya, Meera, Vijayalakshmi Nagaraj, Janhavi, Vidyamani and Greystroke .

The outreach program will culminate in three special children's events at Jayamahal Palace Grounds. The Makkala Koota or the Children’s Reading hour is an event dedicated to storytelling and discussions with the children. Children are sure to be charmed and entranced by the activities there. 

The Makkala Koota will be held on the 8th and the 9th of December 2012 at the Banquet Hall. The session on 8th December includes Sahitya Akademi award winning author Bolwar Mahammad Kunhi talk about his book 'Papu Gandhi Bapu Aadha Kathe'. Catch the antics of Sringeri Srinivas with Rohini Nelikeni as she unravels the tale of the Annual Haircut Day. There will also be sessions from Nadia Budde, award winning illustrator and Pavan Varma who will talk about his book Chanakya’s New Manifesto which revolves around the crisis faced by present day India

Makkala Koota will see 3 sessions on Sunday the 9th December 2012. These include a Hindustani music performance by students of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, Dharwar. Mala Kumar will take the centre-stage in the next session as she talks about winters and seasons. The last session includes a fun-filled crazy ride as Roopa Pai talks about motorists in space and more crazy characters as she discusses the much loved Sister-sister series.

Get the schedule for the Bangalore Literature Festival here.

For more details and registrations click here.

The SingTel Asian Picture Book Awards.

Image source: www.afcc.com.sg
 Via Papertigers
Authors and illustrators have you heard about the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award? This is your chance to get global and put forward your work. If you have written or illustrated an unpublished Asian-themed picture book (targeted at children ages 0 to six years old) the National Book Development Council of Singapore looks forward to receiving your submission for this new award! Entries are being accepted until Dec. 31, 2012 with the inaugural SingTel Asian Picture Book Award to be presented next May at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Submissions will be accepted from writers and/or illustrators of any nationality and from any country who are 18 years of age and above.

Organised by The National Book Development Council of Singapore,the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award is going to be a delight for both authors as well as illustrators. Beginning in 2013, the award will be presented annually for an outstanding unpublished picture book with a distinctly Asian theme.
The objectives of the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award are as follows:
a) To encourage and inspire the publications of more Asian-themed picture books
b) To stimulate public interest and support for picture books with Asian themes
c) To recognise and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian theme each year

The SingTel Asian Picture Book Award offers a total of S$10,000 for the First Prize consisting of S$5,000 for an author and S$5,000 for an illustrator. These will be individually known as the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Author, and the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Illustrator.


Closing date for submissions is 31 December 2012.

Official rules and regulations can be found here.

For more information, please visit www.bookcouncil.sg

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bangalore Book Festival and the Bengaluru Sahityotsava to be hosted together.

Image source: Bangalore Book Festival brochure
 The Bengaluru Sahityotsava 2012 will be held from 14th-16th December 2012 at Tripuravasini, Palace Grounds, Bangalore. This edition of Book Festival will show-case a National level literary meet called Bengaluru Sahityotsava, which will feature popular writers with Gnanapeeth Awards, Sahitya Academy Awards, Saraswati Sanman and other prestigious awards. The objective of combining Bengaluru Sahityotsava with Book Festival is to promote reading habits and book culture especially among the younger generation.

This literary meet invites Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Oriya, Konkani, Marathi, Tulu, Bengali, Rajasthani and Gujarati authors apart from the Kannada literati to participate and present their work. The three day event is filled with literary activities. This event is jointly organised by The Bangalore Booksellers and Publishers Association along with Indian Illustrated Classiscs. The event is supported by Kannada Pustaka Pradhihara, Bangalore, Sahitya Akademi and The Federation of Publishers' and Booksellers' Associations in India (FPBAI),New Delhi.

The Schedule for the event is as follows:

Day-1: 14th December, 4.00 pm
Inauguration and Presidential address by:
Prof. Chandrashekara Kambara, President of Advisory Committee - Bengaluru Sahityotsava

Day-2: 15th December 2012
Session 1: 10 to 11.30 am - Promotion of Inter Literature Understanding.

Participating Writers:
1. Dr. Rajendra Chenni - Kannada
2. Dr. Su Venkateshan - Tamil
3. Dr. Siddalinga Pattanashetty - Kannada
4. Sri. M. P. Veerendrakumar – Malayalam
Moderator: Sri. Sugatha S. Raju

Session 2: 12 noon to 1.30 pm- Writers and Contemporary Issues
Participating Writers:
1. Sri. Anandan - Malayalam
2. Sri. Devanur Mahadeva - Kannada
3. Dr. Samala Sadashiva - Telugu
4. Dr. Bargur Ramachandrappa -Kannada
Moderator: Dr. Natraj Huliyar

Session 3: 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm - Book Talk and Dialogue with Writers
Participating Writers:
1. Dr. Girish Karnad - Kannada
2. Su. Kandaswamy - Tamil
3. Dr. C. Narayana Reddy – Telugu

Session 4: 4.30 pm to 6 pm - Book Talk and Dialogue with Writers
Participating Writers :
1. Dr. S. L. Byrappa - Kannada
2. Sri. M. T. Vasudevan Nair - Malayalam
3. Sri. Sithakantha Mahapatra – Oriya

Day-3 : 16th December 2012
Session 1: 10 am to 11.30 am - Freedom of Expression and Social Harmony

Participant Writers:
1. Smt. Chitra Mudugal - Hindi
2. Prof. C. N. Ramachandran - Kannada
3. Prof. H. S. Raghavedra Rao -
4. Dr. Ramakanth Rath - Oriya
Moderator: Dr. K. E. Radhakrishna

Session 2: 12 noon to 1.30 pm - Writers and Inter-Linguistic issues
Participant Writers:
1. Dr. L. Hanumanthaiah - Kannada
2. Dr. M. Mukundan - Malayalam
3. Dr. Hampa Nagarajiah - Kannada
4. Sri. Sayad saleem - Telugu
Moderator: Sri. O. L. Nagabushana Swamy

Session 3: 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm - Poets Meet and Recital of Poetry
Participating Poets:
Dr. Viswanath Prasad Tiwari – ( Presiding)
1. Sri. Sachidanandan - Malayalam
2. Dr. Siddalingaiah - Kannada
3. Sri. Nagesh Karmali - Konkani
4. Amrutha Somashekar - Tulu
5. Sri. Utpala Sathyanarayanacharya - Telugu
6. Smt. Vanitha - Punjabi
7. Sri. Kailash Vajpeyee - Hindi
8. Sri. Amar Somoy Alpa - Bengali
9. Sri. Khaleel Mamoon - Urdu
10. Prof. S G Siddaramiah
11. Sri. Srihari - Gujarati
12. Sri. Sowbhagyakumar Mishra - Oriya
13. Sri,Vairamuttu - Tamil
14. Sri. Chandrakanth Patil - Marathi
15. Sri. Chandraprakash Deval - Rajasthani
16. Dr. K. S. Nisar Ahamad - Kannada.
17. Dr.Chennaveera Kanavi - Kannada
18. Smt. Harish Minashru - Gujarati
19. Smt. H. L. Pushpa - Kannada
20. Dr. Ajaikumar Singh - Kannada.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pratham Books brings out the magic of seasons and stories at the Bookaroo Festival

Image source: Bookaroo.in
Pratham Books gets ready to spread its magic at the Bookaroo Festival with Kaka and Munni, Moru and the Rituchakra series. Pratham Books will host 3 sessions at the Bookaroo Festival on the 24th and the 25th of November 2102 at the Sanskriti Kendra,
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.

On 24th tap your feet to the music with Natasha Sharma, the author of Kaka and Munni, and then get your hands dirty with paper and glue at a collage workshop.

On Day 2 of Bookaroo, Pratham Books is Counting on Moru and other children like him to be our heroes who will help us befriend that big giant called Maths. Join us for a fun session of storytelling and maths puzzles.

Pratham Books brings to you a wonderful chance to interact with the authors of our recently released Ritucharka Series. A bit of storytelling from each book, live music by Sanghamitra Ghosh and some yummy eats...it’s all happening at the Bookaroo festival.

Schedule  
Kaka and Munni
Session by: Natasha Sharma
Date: 24th November
Time: 2.45 pm
Venue: The Think Tank, Sanskriti Kendra,
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.

Rituchakra Series
Session by: Mala Kumar and Manisha Chaudhry
Date: 24th November
Time: 4 pm
Venue: Amphitheatre, Sanskriti Kendra
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.
  
Counting on Moru
Session by: Mala Kumar and Manisha Chaudhry
Date: 25th November
Time: 12.15 pm
Venue: The Glade, Sanskriti Kendra
Anand Gram, MG Road, Delhi.

Top 10 Children’s Picture Books for 2012

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/librarianinblack/
 A children’s book is incomplete without pictures. It is quite unacceptable to many children that there can be books without pictures. The illustrations and the bright vivid colours don’t just spark a cascade of imagination for them but also compel them to think and ask questions.

Here is a list of the top 10 picture books for 2012

1. Llama Llama Time to Share: This picture book by Anna Dewdney teaches children and encourages them to share.

2. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons: This book teaches counting in the grooviest way possible. Written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean, this book with the cat and its song is a joy to read.

3.  Olivia and the Fairy Princesses:  This is a book which talks about the identity crises that Olivia is facing. In a bid to stand apart and find her individual self Olivia goes on quest. Cleverly written and illustrated by Ian Falconer this book is an enjoyable read for everyone.

4.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: An amazing book which inspired the Academy Award winning short film. Written by William Joyce, this book talks about the love of words, books and stories that Morris Lessmore has inspite of his own chaotic rambled life.

5. This is not my Hat: Authored and illustrated by Jon Klassen, this book is a story of a small fish who steals a round blue topper from a bigger fish. What follows next is a funny tale and a treat of visual humour throughout.

6. Bear has a story to tell: This endearing story of friendship and patience is very well written and illustrated by Philip and Erin Stead.

7. The Duckling gets a Cookie!? : Mo Willems through his story and illustrations teaches pre-schoolers the art of politely asking and using the word ‘Please’ with this book.

8. This Moose belongs to me: This wonderful book by Oliver Jeffers talks about a boy and his moose. While the boy abides by rules, his moose finds it difficult to do the same. The tale is about how the two understand and compromise to stay together.

9.  Rocket writes a story: This book authored and illustrated by Tad Hills is about a dog named Rocket and his wish to write a book. He embarks on a journey to find a story and here he learns, notices and understands things which he never paid attention to before.

10.  Extra Yarn: This story revolves around a little girl who changes her black and white surrounding into a colourful one by knitting garments for everyone, including animals and buildings. Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, this book is a treat to read.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Kahaani Festival ends on a positive note.

Image source: Kahaanifestival.com
 The Kahaani Festival held on the 17th and 18th November 2012 ended on a positive note and a promise that they would be back again with more interesting and innovative ways to promote books and reading.

The festival, unlike most others which have an exhibition of books focussed on the various aspects of narratives and story telling in every possible form. From poems to puppetry, every aspect of story telling was redefined in the most interesting way which kept everyone enthralled.

This festival was an absolute delight to children as it allowed them to explore their creativities and enhance it. The event hosted workshops on illustrations, story-painting, creative writing, and comic strip making, by names like Atanu Roy, Bulbul Sharma, Manisha Chaudhury, and Subhadra Sen Gupta respectively; along with kahaani sessions, performances, and crafts corners.

The performance segment hosted Ishara Puppet Theatre led by contemporary puppet pioneer Dadi Pudumjee, "Kat Katha" by puppeteer Anurupa Roy, "Akaar" by Puran Bhatt, "Saltbrush", an Australian production, and an improvised production of "A Midsummer Night`s Dream".

Read more about the Kahaani Festival here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mumbai hosts the second NGO Asia Expo Conference & Exhibition.

Image source: ngoasiaexpo.com
The 2nd NGO Asia Expo Conference & Exhibition for NGO'S (Non-Governmental Organizations) & Not for Profit Organizations on the theme "Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens" and the Role of NGO's" will be hosted in Mumbai, India.

The NGO Asia Expo is a unique platform where representatives of NGOs meet, examine issues of global concern, share ideas, practice and build partnerships. Together with leaders from the inter-governmental, governmental, corporations and for-profit sectors the participants’ map and plan strategies to address the challenges. Professional experts add practical trainings to help the NGOs become more effective in carrying out their message and mission.

NGO Asia Expo is an ideal podium for every organization to increase awareness about their social efforts and initiatives and a network opportunity with over 200 participants from multi-disciplinary backgrounds engaged in social practice. This is the perfect platform to portray the work of an organization to the various corporations and establish tie-ups with them.  This event is a part of CSR Live Week, where India's strongest socially responsible brands and corporations come together to showcase their CSR efforts and Sustainable Business practices.

With talks and discussions from some of the best speakers, this is an event that should not be missed. So come and be a part of The NGO Asia Expo Conference and Exhibition on the 20th and 21st November 2012 at the Expo Centre, Wold Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai.

To know more click here.

Pratham Books and Teach For India join hands to spread the joy of reading!

Image source: Pratham Books
 Pratham Books has partnered with Teach for India (TFI) to put together a special library package for all their fellows across the country. Currently TFI is active in 5 cities, 443 classrooms and has managed to impact the lives of 16,200 children.We hope to raise libraries for each classroom. The library kit contains a modular storage unit and 100 books.  Pledges start at Rs. 1000 and a pledge for Rs. 5000 pledge will help kick-start one library.

The pledges are open till 7th December 2012. These kits will be handed over to the TFI fellows as Christmas gifts for the classrooms. If you have a favourite TFI fellow or want to help any particular TFI fellow you can choose the library you want to pledge to.

To take the pledge all you need to do is fill the online form and transfer the funds online as per the given details. For any further queries email purvi@prathambooks.org

Click here to  pledge now and help us spread the joy of reading!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kahaani Festival is here.

Image source: Kahaani Festival
 This weekend do attend the Kahaani Festival which is going to add a new dimension to story telling. Aiming to enchant, empower and wow the audiences with a wide array of narratives from India as well as around the world, this festival is going to be an absolute treat for everyone.

Stories will be narrated through music, puppetry, poetry and just about every oral and written tradition of every kind. The festival has a number of workshops which are an opportunity for all the children to express and find their voice.

There is no joy like listening and telling tales. The Kahaani Festival will surge this joy manifold with story telling in many languages, many forms and traditions. An experience you wouldn’t want to miss. The Kahaani Festival Outreach will touch children who have not been able to enjoy the fun and the delight of sharing a story and story telling. The joy and the spirit of story telling will travel to schools, remedial and special education centres and hospital wards before and after the main festival.

The Festival is free to all and welcomes everyone. So be there on the 17th and 18th November 2012 at Pathways School, Noida and experience the joy of stories and storytelling as ideas flow creatively. 

For more details click here.
For the schedule click here.

Madhav Chavan bags the WISE prize for education.

Image Source:wise-qatar.org
Via BBC news
Just like you need air, just like you need water, just like you need food, you need education.” says Madhav Chavan. His efforts combined with zest and zeal to make education accessible to all has fetched him the year’s biggest awards in the field of International education. Dr Chavan is the winner of the WISE Prize which is equivalent to the Nobel Prize for education.

The award announced on Tuesday at the WISE summit Qatar, recognises his work in the field education in the slums of Mumbai. Dr Chavan, a former chemistry lecturer, he came up with an idea to provide education and literacy to millions at a minimal cost.

"Much more remains to be done," said Dr Chavan, when he received the prize. The international award, which comes with a prize of $500,000 (£314,000), recognises Dr Chavan's efforts to provide lessons in literacy for disadvantaged children and adults in India.

The award is decided by an international jury, which includes the US Librarian of Congress, Dr James Billington; the president of Peking University, Prof Zhou Qifeng; former UN high commissioner, Mary Robinson and the chairman of WISE, Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani.

Dr Chavan began his social activism helping uneducated slum-dwellers in Mumbai in the late 1980s, when he returned to India after studying in the United States. He worked with UNICEF and the city authorities, where he developed an innovative system for providing lessons for large numbers of people at low cost. His charity, Pratham, is known to run lessons in temples and offices and recruit volunteers from the local community.He also says that this prize is a major landmark which frequently reminds him how much more needs to be done.

"This prize is a major landmark that reminds me how much more remains to be done. It is an enormous honour for me to be recognised by this unique community of innovators," said Dr Chavan.
Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani said the award winner had "brought light into the lives of many millions of people".

"His story combines the passion of a social entrepreneur with the patience and method of a scientist. His approach shows that the most important resources for successful innovation are a clear vision, determination and the ability to apply unrecognised capacities to a shared cause."

Read more about Dr Madhav Chavan here.
Read the full article here.