Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Creating a Climate of Collaboration

Pratham Books is a finalist in the Google Impact Challenge. Our idea is to create an open source platform for children's books. We need all our readers and supporters to VOTE FOR OUR PROJECT IDEA so that we can win this grant and make this dream a reality.
Our project will build collaborative web platforms that solve the three major problems that affect children in India – a very low number of books available for them, a lack of linguistic diversity of books and a lack of access to funding for libraries and books so that children can experience the joy of reading.
The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Other posts in this series:

2. Let a Thousand Tongues Speak - Increasing language diversity in children's books

Suzanne Singh writes about how this platform will help us create a climate of collaboration that will allow for better access to books.

Collaboration is key…

Our mission is a lofty one. We want to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ in India. We want each and every child to experience the joy of reading – to have them turn the pages of exciting stories that open up new worlds and let their imaginations soar. In a country with 200 million children, this is a challenging goal and we cannot achieve it alone. 

Pratham Books was founded on a principle of collaboration and participation. These collaborative processes have pervaded every aspect of our work; from the way we create content to how we share it under open licences, to donating books to organizations that need them. 

We have partnered with over a dozen publishers to publish books in multiple Indian languages. Original stories from Penguin, Orient Blackswan, Nature Conservation Foundation, Young Zubaan, Baumhaus Verlag from Germany, Shabaviz Publishing House from Iran, What on Earth Publishing from UK, Magnum Books have been translated and published by Pratham Books in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Urdu, Kannada and English. We have collaborated with Dastkari Haat Samiti to publish books that promote traditional arts and crafts. 

Our partnership with other publishers has brought many wonderful and diverse stories to children in new languages. It has increased the treasure trove of stories available to children. It has broadened their horizons and exposed them to cultures they’ve never experienced and stories they’ve never heard. 

Looking ahead, we want to take collaboration to a whole new level. We are looking to build an open source platform to create thousands of new stories for our children. It will bring together content creators and users 
to join in our societal mission, by writing, translating and illustrating stories. They will have tools for versioning stories in local languages and contexts providing numbers of stories in a range of languages way beyond the scope of conventional publishing. We believe that this can transform reading practices among children in India by providing access to sufficient enjoyable stories in familiar languages.

And in this way we can dream of a country where all our children will be confident and enthusiastic readers and progress on the ladder of learning.

You can also spread the word by :
4. Writing a post on your blog about why you believe in our mission and why you want readers to vote for us. Here's an example from one of our champions.

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