Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apply Now for a 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair Fellowship

The application phase for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s Fellowship Programme begins on 1 March. Until 30 April 2012, publishers, editors, rights managers and literary agents from around the world can apply to take part in this prestigious support programme.

The two-week programme focuses on networking, information exchanges and a professional dialogue. The demanding application procedure ensures that the group of 16 Fellows gains as much as possible from one another. The success of this concept is confirmed by participants from previous years. “I made a lot of valuable contacts, both internationally and in the German book industry,” says Anke Göbel of Verlagsgruppe Random House, who took part in the Fellowship Programme in 2010. “I got a much clearer idea of the differences and interrelationships that exist in the international publishing world. And I took inspiration for my own work from other markets,” she adds.

The Frankfurt Fellowship Programme starts on Sunday 30 September, 2012. It includes visits to German publishers in Frankfurt and Berlin, and further items are planned for the itinerary. At the same time, the participants gain an insight into the latest happenings in the international book industry. As part of the programme, the Frankfurt Fellows present their own national publishing scenes, thereby opening the way to intercultural exchanges within the group. “The fellowship programme took me to the best publishing houses of Germany,” says Fangzhou Yang of Dook Publishing in China, who took part in the 2011 programme. “I got to know how they find their authors, how they do the marketing for these high standard authors, and how they work internationally to make great bestsellers. This part will benefit me most in my work.”

If you are interested in the Fellowship Programme and you live in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, please contact the German Book Office New Delhi before submitting an application. Your contact person there is Akshay Pathak,

Click here to read the entire article. Click here to learn more about the fellowship.

Make Your Way to the World Book Fair

People in Delhi, the World Book Fair is in your city and you have a few more days to make the most of it (till 4th March, 2012) .  And when you do come, don't forget to stop by our stall and say hi (We are in Hall No.14, Stall No.30). If you come for the fair on 3rd March, join us for a skit and book reading. Read about all that's happening at the book fair ...

(Our stall at the World Book Fair)

Organized by the National Book Trust (NBT), India every year, the theme of the World Book Fair 2012 is Indian Cinema as Indian cinema is going to complete its 100 years in 2013. A few books based on Indian cinema were also released on the occasion. Moreover, a catalogue including 300 titles representing publications of 800 publishers in all major languages based on Indian cinema has been released by NBT. The catalogue contains information about copyright and contact details for right enquires that will help the publishers around the world to get the information about the rights to publish or translate any of the books based on Indian Cinema.

The event has been divided into three pavilions namely Rights Pavilion, Theme Pavilion and Children Pavilion showcasing a total number of 2500 stalls including 1300 exhibitors can be visited at the mega event. Exhibitors from foreign countries like USA, Bangladesh, France, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Germany has also participated in the book fair.

In addition to that, Pink Ribbon Book Tag has been launched this year as an initiative of Sagi Publication. The publication will contribute Rupee 1 for every book sold at the Book Fair, to the Indian Cancer Society for social welfare.

Read the entire article here.

Via The Hindu Business Line

For the first time in 20 years, the World Book Fair, which opens here on February 25, is according some recognition to role of translators in promoting Indian literature.

"Translation is a great creative tradition. It is as important as creative literature. But it is sad that they are not getting due recognition. Some private sector publishers do not even print the name of translators, leave alone paying them," a National Book Trust (NBT) official said.

At a press conference here on Thursday, NBT, the organiser of the World Book Fair, said it was trying its bit to highlight the important role of translators in a diverse country like India, "where a shared past of literary pursuit was essentially translation – be it of thought, oral tradition, epics etc."

A two-day session will be held during the Fair, along with Delhi University’s Modern Indian Languages Department, devoted to "Cross Translation among Indian Languages", with participation from almost all regions.

Admitting the need for skill upgradation of Indian translators, especially at a time when everyone wants to be seen and heard in English, the World Book Fair is aiming to discover a "national hidden literature", that "one Indian literature written in many languages", as Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishanan said.

Read the entire article here. Click here for more details on the Translation Seminar that will be held on 1st-2nd March, 2012.

Also read :
Audio books on sale at World Book Fair 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Illustration Love

Another round of reading and book-related illustrations we've found on the web.

Image Source : Raquel Marin

Image Source : Julianna Swaney

Image Source : Julianna Swaney

the AMAZING ART of André Martins de Barros
Image Source : André Martins de Barros (via Paula Anddrade)

Sadie Wendell Mitchell: "Dig", 1909
Image Source : Sadie Wendell Mitchell (via  trialsanderrors)

Essar Book Exhibition

We've just finished a 3 day book fair at 3 offices of ESSAR at Vadinar and Jamnagar for their employees.

The exhibition was organised by the CSR group at ESSAR to collect books for a community library that they propose to start at Vadinar.

Would you like to have a children's book fair at your office? Wouldn't you love your children to spend their time immersed in books that are fun to read and educative too. If yes, we would be extremely delighted to have a children's book fair, in the comfort of your very own office!

Please write to info(at)prathambooks(dot)org with your name, phone number and the name of your organization, and we will get in touch with you.

Please note currently we can conduct fairs only in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Mumbai, and in offices that have more than 1000 parents.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Meet Us at the World Book Fair

World Book Fair is here and we are part of the festivities!

If you are in Delhi, we would love to see you at the WorldBook Fair. We are bringing a truckload of charming books inEnglish and Hindi. There's also going to be a children's skit, a book reading and a panel discussion. So, if you love reading and children's books, don't forget to mark your calendars!

Book sale:
Date: 25th February – 4th March 2012
Venue: World Book Fair, Pragati Maidan
Hall / Stall No: H14 / 30 

Skit & Book Reading:
Join mischievous Kallu and his friends from our popular 'Kallu's World' series as they perform a Ramlila - village ishtyle - guaranteed to have children giggling! The skit will be followed by a book reading by the author, Subhadra Sengupta.
Date: 3rd March 2012, 10.30 – 12.00
Venue: Pragati Maidan, Entrance from Gates 6 and 7
Hall : Children’s Pavilion at Hall No. 14

Panel Discussion:
Topic: Selection of Children’s Books for Institutional Libraries – Is it quality-based?
Date: 27th February 2012, 3.30 pm
Venue: Pragati Maidan, Entrance from Gates 6 and 7
Hall : Children’s Pavilion at Hall No. 14

Happy National Mathematical Year! :-)

Do you recognize that feeling that you get after having solved a mathematical problem? I loved that feeling. But this was long after I thought 'a' square + 'b' square was equal to a gigantic square and an 'acute' angle was a way of calling an angle cute.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared the year 2012 as 'National Mathematical Year' as a tribute to the maths genius Ramanujam.

I caught up with our in-house maths enthusiast and author of the 'Happy Maths' series, Mala Kumar, for a quick Q & A session.
- What inspired you to write the 'Happy Maths' series and tell us more about the series?

During the recreational maths workshops that I used to conduct in schools, most students seemed to enjoy the sessions as much as I did! The Pratham Books team felt there was value in recording at least some of those ideas in the form of books. And that's how the series happened. The books are more like storybooks than quiz and brain teaser books, and touch on some concepts that seem simple but are quite ambiguous to most of us. Children can enjoy solving problems whether they believe themselves to be good or bad at the subject. The books have very cheerful illustrations by Angie and Upesh, and that definitely makes things so much easier to understand.

- Was mathematics your favourite subject?

Yes, not because I was good at it, but because maths homework took less time than say, history homework, and allowed me to play outside for longer.

- Do you still enjoy solving problems? How often do you challenge your brain?

I enjoy solving problems. That does not necessarily mean I am good at solving them! I write an anonymous newspaper column for children that requires me to challenge my brain 'mathmatically' at least once a week.

- As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rightly put it, many often think that pursuing mathematics or even pure science subjects might not lead to an attractive career. Your thoughts?

That is purely subjective, pardon the pun. Careers need to be decided by people who are going to take them up, based on their interests and capabilities. Maths can lead to many interesting careers... one can become a space scientist or even the prime minister of a country!

Okay, now if you are inspired, try solving these! ;-) -

Peas please :-)

Suraj J Menon

Summer Workshops by the Institute of Experiential Learning

Earlier this month, we met Mehar Zariwalla and Collin Timms from the Institute of Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is an innovative and engaging form of learning that uses dynamic experiences as a learning tool. Based on the premise that an experience followed by reflection leaves a strong kinesthetic imprint on the learner, experiential learning is a creative and engaging method of learning that can be adapted by different kinds of learners ranging from children to adults. 
The Institute has adapted this effective and fun way of learning where following each experience, the experiential learner reflects on the experience, which leads to learning and insights that are unique to each learner. Every enriching experience creates a new learning and insight that is carried forward.
For the Writing and Publishing Lab, Pratham Books will put up the work produced by the children during the workshop on our Scribd account. Also, our content team will be talking to the children on one of the days of the workshop.

This summer, they are conducting the following workshops during the months of April and May:
While the experience labs will take place in Bangalore, the outdoor labs will take place in places across India and the world. Register soon as there are only limited seats available (between 10-20 seats).

The institute also offers its programs on part or full scholarships and interested aspirants can apply to the institute to avail these scholarships. You can also choose to gift an experience to an underprivileged child. Organizations who work with underprivileged children can also approach the institute to opt for scholarships at their summer programs. You can read more about it here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pratham Books Champions - Aruna Jadeja, Komal Chudasama, Charuta Pimpalpure and Vrunda Manish Rathi

As part of the International Year of the Forest, we were running the 'Awareness Today for a Greener Tomorrow' campaign. We asked our AWESOME community if they would be volunteer to become a Pratham Books Champion and conduct storytelling sessions based on the book "A King Cobra's Summer'. And again, our friends volunteered eagerly. We will be sharing the stories of all our champions through our blog.

Today's story comes from Aruna Jadeja who conducted a storytelling session in Ahmedabad. Aruna ji is one of our Gujarati translators and a Sahitya Academy Award winner for Marathi-Gujarati translation. She is also an honorary teacher  to blind students at the Blind People Association. Aruna also took the initiative of involving 3 other women and together they conducted a relay storytelling session of sorts. The storytelling sessions were conducted in Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi. One of the sessions was also told as part of a B.Ed lesson in a Gujarati Medium School. Aruna also bought some of our books and donated them to three organizations.
4 Storytelling Sessions

Here are some pictures from each of the sessions :

Aruna Jadeja reading out King Cobra to the Blind Students at Blind People Association

 Komal Chudasama telling the story to 7th standard students of SHARDA MANDIR HIGHSCHOOL, vejalpur' Ahmedabad as part of her B Ed lesson. Komal is partially blind.

Charuta Pimpalpure, at M.S High school at Bhadra, Ahmedabad  Marathi medium)

Vrunda Manish Rathi organised a session in her residential apartments with her son Hriday & his friends at Navarangpura, Ahmadabad. (Hindi medium). The most exciting part of this session was the sudden visit of a playful baby Monkey with her mother to the venue. (What a wonderful way to celebrate the Forest Year!!)

Thank you Aruna Jadeja, Komal Chudasama, Charuta Pimpalpure and Vrunda Manish Rathi   for spreading the joy of reading!

Click here to read the stories sent in by all the Pratham Books Champions.

Note : If any of you want to be a Pratham Books Champion and join us on our journey of getting 'a book in every child's hand', write to us at web(at)prathambooks(dot)org.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pratham Books is Hiring!

Pratham Books is a not for profit, multi-lingual publisher of books for children. Our mission is to put a book in every child's hands. Our books are translated into several Indian languages. We believe that every child should have access to lovely books that are a treat to their eyes and their minds.


Experience: Min. 3 Yrs.

Location : One Position- Pune or Mumbai

Job Purpose:
To deliver all sales & marketing related initiatives for multiple states in your region

Key Responsibilities :
• Research and explore channel sales partnerships with Schools, Institutions, Distributor’s etc.; develop sales initiatives; assign and deliver sales targets for each account.
• Actively present and sell front list and backlist titles to key accounts
• Prepare sales quotations, necessary follow-up and close sales, collect orders from customers and work with Sales Head , Customer Service and Credit Control to ensure that customer orders, returns and credit notes are processed promptly and accurately.
• Devise sales plans and make sales kits to promote key titles, best-seller lists, subject specific lists
• Identify key supplementary reading/library market in Urban Schools
• Coordinate for any pilot projects in the state for the purpose of sales or research
• Work with the State Education bodies to identify sales opportunities under various government run educational enhancement programs
• Maintain and update customer profile sheets/ history and follow up on credit sales for the region
• Every other sales and marketing initiative to realize revenue objectives
• Establishing client relationship with the Principals and Coordinators of schools in order to promote the reading programs amongst children.
• Catering to complaints/grievances of Schools, Distributors or Institutions

Key Competencies:

Interpersonal Skills:
• Candidate must have a customer and sales focus
• Excellent interpersonal and communications skills
• Ability to work well on own initiative, be innovative and entrepreneurial
• Excellent problem solving skills
• Highly organized

General Knowledge and Technical Skills:
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• PC literate, particularly all MS Office packages

Required Education and Experience:
• Applicants must demonstrate entrepreneurship and innovation as this position entails
ownership and accountability in delivering revenue targets
• Applicants must demonstrate strategic planning, financial analysis abilities.
• Graduate degree preferably with marketing / sales management and 3-5 years experience is
• Candidates should be open to travel across the state for business purposes

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Please send your resume to info(at)prathambooks(dot)org with 'Multi State Coordinator' in the subject line of the email.



Experience: 2-4 years, relevant experience in advertising / media

Location : One Position- Full time -Bangalore

Job Purpose:
Pratham Books is looking for a young dynamic advertising / communications professional. You love to find simple solutions to complicated marketing problems. You glow with pride when you talk about the brands you have helped build and shape. You get excited when you create an interesting emailer.

You've been working in the communications field for about 2-4 years now but somewhere deep inside you are wondering whether there is more to your profession than the next new brand of tea or the newest shirt brand. You hope to use your skills to build a brand that impacts not just lifestyles but lives of India’s children. If yes, then Pratham Books is looking for you in the avatar of Assistant Brand Manager.

Oh and did we say that if you do join us you will be working with one of India's largest children's book publisher,with an aim to see, “A book in every child's hand”. So, if you are game to take up the challenge of making Pratham Books reach out to millions of little children, email your resume 
to with 'Assistant Brand Manager' in the subject line of the email.
Visit us at

Key Responsibilities:
• To develop and present our brand/s memorably, to help them stand out in a competitive marketplace.
• To communicate with multiple stakeholders - authors, illustrators, publishers, children, parents, schools, governments .
• To effectively explore new media like the internet / blogging / e-marketing etc to achieve the brands’ goals.
• To develop CRM programs and database management. Prior experience in this will be an added advantage.
• Plan and execute research projects.

Key Competencies:
• A degree in Business/Marketing
• 2-4 years experience in advertising / media relations
• Good communication, presentation and inter-personal skills
• A self-starter, independent, team player who is motivated by the cause
• Knowledge of design softwares a plus
• Knowledge of Kannada a plus

Looking for Pratham Books Champions for World Read Aloud Day

We are extremely excited to be collaborating with LitWorld to celebrate World Read Aloud Day!

When is World Read Aloud Day? 7th March 2012

From the LitWorld website:
Take Action for Global Literacy, Celebrate the Power of Words, Change the World. 
Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate. 
Imagine a world where everyone can read... 
World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology. 
By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.
We are looking for Pratham Books Champions to help celebrate World Read Aloud Day! What do Pratham Books Champions do? They spread the joy of reading and give wings to stories.

For International Girl Child Day and International Year of the Forest, we had many people from different places volunteer to become a champion. You can read about their wonderful experiences here.

It is for World Read Aloud Day (7th March) that we are seeking champions from everywhere to conduct storytelling sessions in their state/ city. How wonderful will it be if we can achieve this: one day, one book, and millions of children enjoying the same book!

Please mail us at web(at)prathambooks(dot)org if you are interested in becoming a Pratham Books Champion.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

मेरी ताईवान डायरी

Siraj Saxena, the illustrator of our new book 'Unt Chala Bhai Unt Chala' (written by Prayag Shukla), wrote to us about the Ceramics Art Residency he was selected for.

Meri Taiwan Dairy

Storytelling Workshop for Adults, Hyderabad

Deepa Kiran is one of our storytelling champions from Hyderabad and she is conducting a storytelling workshop on 25th February, 2012.

Via an email sent by Deepa Kiran

All of us love a good story- especially children. They love being taken on a ride through the magical world of stories. The truth is that everyone can tell stories! We only need to discover this ability in us. Here is an opportunity to discover the wonderful storyteller in you! This highly interactive and activity-filled workshop is intended to give a better understanding of storytelling techniques and introduce opportunities to make your storytelling much more effective and enjoyable! Open to educators, parents and all those interested in stories and children.

In this workshop you will be taken through modules on

1) Basic storytelling techniques such as:
Story Selection – choosing and learning the story
Story structure – traits of a tell-able tale
Narration – language descriptions, body language (gestures & facial expressions),
Voice modulation
Props – puppets, storyboards, illustrations
Performing – practice, participative telling, improvisation

2) How to introduce participative activities such as:
Music – rhythms, rhymes, sound effects, sound-scaping
Dance – creative movement patterns
Story response – Post-storytelling student-response activities

Right of choice of stories to rehearsed performance, the workshop offers a journeyinto the art of storytelling, for you to explore and infectiously share! Handout will be provided at the end of the workshop inclusive of notes and resource list.

About Deepa Kiran : I am a professional storyteller who works with children and teachers. I have been doing storytelling for schools, libraries, cultural centers, publishing houses, corporate and NGO. I build in music and dance which brings alive the story time. You can find my storytelling on my website

Date – Feb 25th
Timing - 9am to 4pm
Venue – SHWAAS, Center For Inspired Learning, Jubilee Hills,Hyd

Charges per participant – Rs 1200/- (lunch and tea included)
To register for the workshop please contact
Deepa : 91+9052910239,
Salil: 91+9440500277,

Summer Express '12 at Rangashankara

This year's Summer Express will take place during the months of April and May. Registration for the workshops begin on 10th March 2012.

Via an email sent by Rangashankara

Summer is upon us and Summer Express is all set to arrive at Ranga Shankara. For those of you who haven't been on a ride in it yet, Summer Express is AHA! Summer Workshop programme. The powerful schedule this year brings: Theatre (Pinty Akka, Anurupa Roy, Kapila Venu, Shaili Sathyu, Hamsa Moily, Nimi Ravindran and Neeraj Kabi), Music (Bombay Jayashri), Filmmaking (Archana Prasad and the Jaaga Media Centre team), Visual Art (Shilo shiv Suleman), Cooking (Anju Sudarshan), Car Mechanics (D M Suresh of Hyundai) and Rangoli (Suma Murthy). 

Registrations begin on 10 Mar '12 at Ranga Shankara. Payment by cash or cheque only. Age proof mandatory.

A limited quota is allocated through e-mail. Please write to from 10 AM on 10 Mar '12 onwards, clearly indicating the workshop, age group and the batch you wish to register for. Conditions apply.

Click here to download the schedule.

Image Source : Rangashankara

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cowbird : A Community of Storytellers

Via Cowbird
Cowbird is a small community of storytellers, focused on a deeper, longer-lasting, more personal kind of storytelling than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the Web. 
Cowbird allows you to keep a beautiful audio-visual diary of your life, and to collaborate with others in documenting the overarching “sagas” that shape our world today. Sagas are themes and events that touch millions of lives and shape the human story. 
Our short-term goal is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events. Our long-term goal is to build a public library of human experience, so the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate as individuals may live on as part of the the commons, available for this and future generations to look to for guidance.
Simply put, Cowbird is a place where you can go to tell a story that you think is worth sharing with a wider community of lovers of good stories. The idea is for people to tell short location-tagged stories based on their own experience using text, photos and sound or a mix thereof. The more personal and authentic your story, the more it will resonate with the still relatively small Cowbird community.
Read the entire article here.

Visit the Cowbird website

Young Naturalists Camps Summer 2012

Our friends from the Gerry Martin project sent us an email about the exciting camps they are conducting this summer. Sign up for them as soon as possible!

Children are born naturalists, they are born with a sense of wonder and affinity for nature which they explore with all their senses, experiment and communicate their findings to others. 

However in today's urban landscape, they lack the avenues to explore the natural world and to read the book of nature through their own direct experience. 

This summer, The Gerry Martin Project aims at providing children with the opportunity to do just that and a safe environment in which they can test their knowledge through experience. 

We will be running a series of “Young Naturalists Camps” at five different locations, each with its own learning objective ranging from Scrub Jungle Ecology to Reptile Biology. 

Rainin' Reptiles! 
1. Rainforest Exploration at the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station 

Agumbe is one of the wettest places on Earth. Located in a sleepy niche in the Western Ghats, the region is also a prime example of lowland rainforest. The Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) was set up by Romulus Whitaker in 2005 primarily to study and conserve King Cobras in the region but today, it has evolved into a full-fledged research and conservation field station. 

At ARRS, children will experience the workings of a field station and will learn skills required for a young naturalist. They will develop skills in Canopy Access, Radio Telemetry, Outdoor Survival, Survey Techniques, Stream exploration, go on night surveys and much more. 

Dates: 2nd to 6th April and 16th to 20th April, 2012 

Age Bracket: 10 to 16 yrs. 

Budding Biologists! 
2. Nature Skills and field Biology at Ossie Martin's Farm, Hunsur 

In today's urban setup children rarely get the chance to interact with the natural world. Designed to act a launching pad for budding young naturalists and biologists, this workshop will address this lack of exposure and give children a structured learning experience that will allow them to build their own context and skills. This workshop emphasises awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and the natural world. 

Here, we will learn how to build hides, machaans, approach animals with stealth and efficiency, observe aquatic life, setting pit falls and camera traps, some basics in Nature photography, outdoor survival, tree climbing and fish on the lake. 

Dates: 9th to 13th April, 2012 

Age Bracket: 9 to 16 yrs. 

Tigers and Tea estates! 
3. Large Game and Bird Ecology at Jungle Retreat 

Jungle Retreat is a resort, located on over thirty-five acres of reforested farmland adjoining the Mudumalai National Park. It is the perfect setting to help children learn the basics in wildlife tracking, birdwatching, outdoor survival and the like. There will also be activities like camera trapping, pug mark identification, wildlife safari, visit to the elephant camp, etc. It is a perfect workshop for children who are interested in nature and would like to experience real wilderness and wildlife of all kinds. 

Dates: 9th to 13th April, 2012 

Age Bracket: 11 to 17 yrs. 

Scales and Scutes! 
4. Reptile Biology at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) 

Since the '70s, The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) has been at the forefront of reptile research and conservation across the country. MCBT is also one of the pioneers of captive husbandry and breeding of various reptile species from numerous species of crocodiles to king cobras and highly endangered turtles. 

At MCBT, we will focus on reptile biology the management of reptiles in captive conditions. We will also head out one morning with the legendary Irula Snake catchers, experiencing their incredible bush wisdom and skills. 

Children will get hands on experience by working with the staff and specialists at the Croc Bank learning Reptile Captive Management, Safety Protocols, Small Wildlife Tracking, Reptile Veterinary Care, Survey Techniques, Field Techniques in Crocodile Research, Snakebite First Aid Protocol, etc. 

Dates: 16th to 20th April, 2012 

Age Bracket: 12 to 19 yrs. 

Tracking and Bush Skills! 
5. Naturalist skills at Rom Whitaker’s 

A pioneer in research and conservation of herpetofauna for over four decades, Rom Whitaker has founded several conservation initiatives, including India’s first snake park, the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team, Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Irula Snake Catchers’ Co-operative Society among many others. 

Rom never ceases to encourage people who are interested, and has now set up a camp site in his backyard allowing enthuiasts to experience the surrounding wild hills. The camp-site is on his farm situated in Chengelpet, South of Chennai. It borders the rocky hills and scrub jungle of the Vallam Reserve Forest and gets its fair share of wild visitors from the forest. 

Here we will run through the basics of field biology. Children will learn outdoor skills, camera trapping, biostatistics, reptile biology, bird watching and a lot more. They will also get a chance to shadow the Irula Snake catchers during one of the sessions. 

Dates: 23rd to 27th April, 2012 

Age Bracket: 12 to 19 yrs. 

These camps build on the children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore the natural world around them. Activities are structured so that it blends social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills to help foster learning. 

To register or to get more details, please get in touch with Conan on 9972068300 or email at conan(at)gerrymartin(dot)in.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2nd Annual Indian Comic Con

The Annual Indian Comic Con is back. If you are in Delhi, head to Dilli Haat between 17th-19th February, 2012.

Take a peek at all the exciting happenings slated for the 2nd Annual Indian Comics Convention, The Biggest Celebration of Comics in India! Spread over 3 days, with over 80 participants, 22 exclusive launches, over 30 sessions and some legendary special guests from around the world!

Click here to view the entire list of events.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

65,000 Books for 1,000 libraries - Thank you Pearson!

Vision :"A Book in Every Child's Hand"

Last year, Pearson Education inked a memorandum of understanding with Pratham Books to promote reading among children who had less or no access to books (More information here). As part of Pearson’s CSR, they donated a percentage of their sales generated through textbook sales to enable Pratham Books to donate several sets of books to under-served schools/libraries. Pratham Books is delighted to be part of this cause and happy to collaborate with Pearson to get books in hands of many many children.

Today is International Book Giving Day! And what a coincidence that it is also Valentine's Day! Pratham Books is spreading the love for reading to lakhs of children across the country. We hadn't planned it this way, but turns out that we will be shipping 65,000 books to over 1000 libraries across the country this week! So, it is going to be BOOK GIVING WEEK at Pratham Books !

Thank you Pearson for helping us on our journey of 'a book in every child's hand'!

Spread the love for reading on this beautiful day by giving a book, donating a book or leaving a book for it to be discovered. Or, you can go through this list of NGOs who need books and choose to donate books to them. Visit the International Book Giving Day blog for more ideas.

Celebrate International Book Giving Day With These Organizations

It is finally International Book Giving Day! Yayyyyyyy! How are you celebrating it? Want to help, but don't know how you can?

Here's how ...

We've received a few emails from organizations that require books. Go through their profiles and see how YOU can help their kids experience the joy of reading.

Steps to spread the joy of reading :

  • Read through the profiles
  • Choose an organization you want to donate books to
  • Find books that may be lying around in your house which can be donated to the organization. Check if these books match the requirements of the books needed by the organizations
  • If you don't have books, you can buy books online and have them shipped to the organization directly. Here are some of the websites of Indian publishers : Pratham Books, Tara Books, Karadi Tales, Katha, Eklavya, Zubaan, Tulika Books. Or you pick an assortment of children's books from Flipkart.
  • Send the books to the organization with a huge dose of love!
  • Spread the word by sharing this post and get more people to learn about these wonderful organizations.

Note : All the information has been provided by the organizations themselves. Please contact the organizations for more details about their work.


Books needed : in English and Telugu for ages 0-18 years.

Organization description : Aarti is a grassroots organisation that strives to help girls and women help themselves. We aim to remove gender-based discrimination. We run a home for abandoned baby girls, a school for children who cannot afford to pay fees, training programs to enhance income-generating skills (tailoring for example) and to create awareness in favour of the girl child.

More information at :

Shipping address : “Aarti Home”, Vijay Foundation Trust, H.No: 20/539, Opp.Municipal Stadium,
Kadapa - 516004 (AP) 
Tel: +91 - 8562 - 247 106 | Mobile: +91 - 9440 - 280 111

E-mail: vftrust(at)gmail(dot)com



This request for books came from a Teach for India Fellow, Himani Sanghvi. 

Books needed : Books in a readable condition and are from Kindergarten – 5th grade level

She says :

I am Himani Sanghvi, a Teach for India 2011 fellow. I teach 37 super enthusiastic children at Shivri cross MPS. We are an extremely under-resourced school in the middle of a community in Sewri from where all my kids come. 80% of the children haven't seen the world beyond their community. There is no library or for that matter any reading books or teaching aid or basic resources. The basic  infrastructure is in a sorry state with all of us trying every single day to manage through it. Including all of our children of Shivri cross. They are in a learning environment for only 5 hours everyday and I want it to be an extremely powerful experience for them. It's very easy for them to unlearn things that
happen in the classroom if it's not effective enough for them. I have started a small library where I provide books to the children twice a week.  After enough books are collected, I also plan to expand this project to rest of the children at my school. 

The dream is to make every single child in Sewri fall in love with imagination, words and worlds beyond us. Be a part of this kaleidoscopic journey.

Email : himani.sanghvi2011(at) 



Books needed :  Age group 3 - 15 years. Pictographic books preferable. All Indian Languages as children from across India come here regularly for thalassemia treatment.

Organization description:
"Thalassemia Day Care Centre” at IGICH, Bangalore is inaugrated and run by Sankalp India Foundation(R) and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH) with the supported of Applied Materials India Pvt. Ltd. The Day Care Centre provides all necessary treatment and management facilities for children suffering from Thalassemia. Thalassemia is a medical condition that requires the patient in some cases to undergo frequent blood trnsfusions life long. Many children are affected from this condition. The disease is a genetically inherited and is prevalent in India. Patients from all parts of Karnataka and from the neighboring districts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh come to IGICH for blood transfusions every month. A Program Co-ordinator cum counselor has been appointed to ensure that the centre functions as it should. Currently 111 patients are enrolled with the day care centre.

More information at : 1, 2

Shipping address : Ms Akshata, Thalassemia Day Care Centre, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Behind Nimhans, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560029, Karnataka. Please give us a call before delivery. Contact: +91-9483505424, +91-9480044444

E-mail: sankalp.admin(at)



Books needed : Easy to read books and picture books that evoke imagination and inquiry-based learning. Age-group: 3 to 12. Languages: English, Hindi, Urdu, Ladakhi.

Organization description : 
‘Friends of Likir’ is an initiative to nurture & educate children in isolated villages of Ladakh. FoL organically progresses to set up libraries for children throughout the Ladakh terrain, Indo-Pak and Indo-China bordering villages. We aspire to gradually build an integrated network of like-minded individuals who can support children through love, care, time, creativity, skills and resources.
Learning modules are custom-designed keeping in mind the needs of these young children. These include communicative skills and art-based activities that cultivate inquiry, imagination, expression and reflection. 
‘Friends of Likir’ celebrates the spirit of children and their right to education.

More information at

Shipping address 

Friends of Likir, c/o. Ms. Abhigya Shukla, 7, Goyal Park Bungalows, Judges' Bungalows Road, Ahmedabad-380015. Gujarat. INDIA

E-mail: friendsoflikir(at)gmail(dot)com


Books needed : Marathi books for ages 7-13 years

Organization description : Our first project is currently running at the Govandi Station upper Primary Municipal School no.1, Mumbai. Children from Standards 4 -7 participate in the activities conducted at the school. We are a small team that is passionate about children. We believe that children need a space that they can call their own- a place where they can explore the world around them and learn little lessons for life in the most fun ways. 

The initiative aims to provide all children access to books and lessons for life. Children from low-income communities in particular lack:
  • access to storybooks and,
  • skills to face challenges in their lives
Hence, we use storybooks as a means to enhance self-expression, creativity and imagination. Through our initiative we also build values and life-skills and try to make learning a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

More information at :

Shipping address : Amrita Nair, Apni Shala, Building no. 3, Flat no. 1, Saraswati Nagar, Inside Daulat Nagar, Kopri, Thane East 400603, Phone : 9820508580

E-mail: amrita(at)



Books needed : 
Ages: 3–5, Language: English and Kannada : Picture books, including board books, concept books (teaching an alphabet or counting), pattern books, and wordless books
Ages: 5–7, Language: English and Kannada : Early Reader Books
Ages: 7–11, Language: English and Kannada : Chapter books

Organization description : 

10 years ago ‘Spandana’ (NGO - yet to be registered) made its humble beginnings. Inspired with
a possibility to empower children and to create a wonderful future for them to take on challenges in life, this group was instituted. We have been working with 2 government schools - Puttenahalli Government school and Gottigere Government School. We provide scholarships and have executed numerous projects at these schools (examples: CHIGURU Scholarships, Examination Stationery kits, First Aid Kit, Library augmentation, Educational Aids, School Day celebrations, Educational trips).

More information at : Spandana doesn't have a website currently, but you can view a few images here.

Shipping address Spandana, 385, 5th Cross, 6th Main, JP Nagar 7th Ph, Bangalore - 560078.

E-mail: madhuaithal(at)gmail(dot)com



Books needed
Coloring Books for ages 8-11 years]

Organization description : Protsahan works with at-risk street children in India with art & creative technological tools to execute innovation in education right where its needed. We have encouragement centers in urban slums/on the streets. Currently we work with children who are sexually abused, drug abused, at begging points, at-risk children of rickshaw pullers, ragpickers, etc. An initiative started by youngsters 20 months back has mushroomed into a nationwide movement promoting the spirit of volunteering amongst corporates and college students and transforming the lives of street children. Now recognized by The World Bank and several award nominations later, Protsahan has become a symbol of what exactly it set out to achieve : Encouragement!

Shipping address : Protsahan , 347, Vasant Enclave, New Delhi - 110057. Ph: 9540781011.

E-mail: ngo.protsahan(at)



Books needed : English, Hindi and Punjabi books for children between 3-16 years

Organization description : Sarthak Prayas is an NGO working for voluntary blood donation promotion, Thalassemia & HIV/AIDS awareness, child education & old age people. Today we are the largest human chain of emergency blood donors in Delhi & NCR. Sarthak Prayas is also supporting a half constructed school, ‘Divya Sanskar’ in Karnal, Haryana where 250 children are studying from economically weak and backward families. They also run a remedial education center for slum kids in Shalimar Bagh and Rohini, New Delhi with 30 Kids at each center.
More information at :

Shipping address : Sarthak Prayas, 38 (Basement) Road No. 52, Punjabi Bagh West, New Delhi 110026
E-mail:  harsharora(at)sarthakprayas(dot)org



Books needed : in Hindi for ages 5-13 years

Organization description : Aham Bhumika’ is an NGO, a group of like minded people based in Bhopal. We are striving for the betterment of the underprivileged in rural areas of India. We collect clothes from donors & distribute them to those in need. We collect old bicycles, repair them and provide them to children who have to walk long distances to attend school.We collect toys & games and provide them to rural Anganwadi centres to make them child friendly. We collect books and have established an informal library in a tribal village Mahabadia for the primary school children with the aim of developing a habit of reading amongst the people, especially children. We also organize health camps for the children and women in rural areas.

Shipping address Subrat Goswami, Ahambhumika, C/o  Archaeological Survey of India, 4th Floor, B -Block, G.T.B. Complex, T.T.Nagar,Bhopal -462003 (M.P.)

E-mail:  subrat(at)ahambhumika(dot)org



Books needed : For 3-12yrs bi lingual (English- Hindi, English-Marathi)
Organization description : 
BOOKWORM was conceived and set up in 2005, Panaji, Goa.Whilst the library space is for the community around Panjim, and all are welcome, most of the children come from middle class families. The School Book Treasury’s aim is to support schools that are poorly resourced by supplying reading materials, together with help, support and training for existing teachers, to enrich the library work done within the schools. The BOOKWORM Mobile Library Outreach Programme (MOP) aims to take books and the mobile library out to the children of some of the poorest socio-economic groups in Goa. 

More information at

Shipping address : Bookworm, C/17, 266, Santissmo Vaddo, (Near St. Michael Church), Taleigao.
Goa - 403302 , Tel: 9823222665 

E-mail: mail(at)bookwormgoa(dot)in

Visit the International Book Giving Day blog and the Mommy Labs blog to read about the different ways in which one can participate.