Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I am a Creative Person - How can this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series  written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of a person who wants to exercise his/her creativity.




I am creative - how can this platform help me?

You are exactly what this platform needs to be a super cool resource! A creative person can do wonders with all the stories available here. Make apps, create games, turn a story on its head and make it a more funky story. Use the illustrations in derivatives like films, music albums, photo-montage, new storybooks, cheerful worksheets for summer camps and after-school activities. And if you want the community to try your derivative work and give you feedback, upload your work right here. Make an audio book, convert a story to a format accessible to the visually-impaired, give a character extra fittings like a beard or a funny hat. The openly licensed content can be used freely and prolifically so there is really nothing to stem your creative juices. And if your derivative work - say a storybook app - is liked, you can be discovered by a big company. Creative people - author, illustrator, designer, product designer, game designer, app developer, or any such person - can not just use the platform to create things to be shared by the community. they can also create a great future for themselves using these resources. Good luck!


The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

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

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.

Illustration courtesy : Tanvi Choudhury ( from the book 'Little Painters')

I am a Child - how will this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series  written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of a child.


I am a child - how will this platform help me?

Welcome to this platform, if you are a child. This is like a magic cave where you get many many stories to read. All kinds of stories. Each story with many illustrations. If you are a fast reader, you will be able to read many stories. If you are learning to read, you will soon pick up speed once you start reading the stories here. You can read it in different languages too. Can you copy a story and submit it as your own story for a class assignment? Yes, you CAN, but of course you MUST not! Because we do not encourage copying. However, you can take a story, say it has been written by this author, and that you have changed to story like this. That is called a remixed story. You can remix the illustrations available on this platform to make up a new story. You can use the illustrations in your project work and other school assignments. If you like to write stories, or illustrate a story that you find on this platform, then you can definitely do so! Your work will be seen by hundreds of people on this platform. You could download a story, print it, and share with with children who cannot read, or who do not have books to read. This is an excellent place to brush up your language skills since you can read the same story in the language you know well first, and then, in a language you are trying to improve on. You can use the prints of the illustration to play games with friends. As a child, you are sure to find many many uses for this platform which no adult may have thought of yet!


The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

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

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.

Illustration courtesy : Rajeev Verma 'Banjara' ( from the book 'My Family')

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I am a Parent - How will this platform help me?


 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 'I am ...' series  written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of a parent.


 I am a Parent - How will this platform help me?

The platform is a repository of stories of all kinds for children of different age groups that both parents and children can access right from their home. You will have access to books from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In the fast paced world, especially when both parents work outside the home, thinking up stories at bedtime ( or at any other time your child demands a story) trying to recollect a story can be quite taxing. Welcome to this Alladin's Cave of stories. No need to go to a library - just click on a story here, and you have it. Parents can download openly licensed illustrations from the platform and ask their children to use them to make up a story of their own. Instead of being the one to tell a story, you may be able to sit back and listen to the stories that your child comes up with! Did you love your child's story? Share it on this platform and wait for feedback from the community! Parents can also use the resources on the platform to make fun worksheets for their children. With a same book available in several languages, you can read the story in one language, and ask your child to read it in her mother tongue maybe. With so much available on the platform, parents are sure to find it a happy parenting tool!


The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

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

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.

Illustration courtesy : Rajeev Verma 'Banjara' ( from the book 'My Family')

I am a Storyteller - How can this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series  written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of a storyteller.


I am a Storyteller - How can this platform help me?

As a storyteller, you will have access to all our openly licensed content. Which is in fact a large number of stories, for different age groups, each in several languages. Some amazing Pratham Books Champions have taken these stories and got them translated into the language they wanted to narrate the story in. You can download the stories, print it, remix it and share it with many children. All other remixed versions will also be accessible to you - thus providing access to books, apps, audio books, language versions, and more. If you think of an even better version of the story, feel free to remix and put it back on the platform so that the community can use it. Who knows, the remixed version may launch you as an author! The different formats will allow you to customize your storytelling session for your audience. Do read some of our champion stories to see how people have given new spins to existing stories. 


The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

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

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.


Illustration courtesy : Bindia Thapar ( from the book City of Stories)

Monday, October 28, 2013

'We, the Children of India' at Samanvay 2013

Samavay 2013 – Festival of Languages organized by India Habitat Center, New Delhi had a very interactive session with former Chief Justice Leila Seth and author of the book "We, the Children of India". She captivated the children with different elements of the Indian Constitution.





Sunday, October 27, 2013

I am a Teacher - How will this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series  written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of a teacher.

Illustration courtesy : Mansi Parekh 

I am a Teacher - How will this platform help me?

This open source platform is a teacher's magic den! You will have access to many stories and illustrations that can be used to make your lessons more entertaining. Students love stories, and when the stories can be used to drive home history, geography, science and other academic subjects, it is a win-win situation for students and teachers. The content can be used to create worksheets in your classroom. What's more, students can collaborate to come up with their own worksheets too. If you so wish, these worksheets can be shared by you on the platform, helping other teachers in their work. 

The stories can be used to spark debates in class about a whole lot of topics - language, grammar, civic sense, environment, politics, hygiene. If students do not like a story, they can remix the openly licensed illustrations and stories on the platform to create their own. The platform becomes a multi-purpose tool in the hands of both teachers and students, finally evoking the creativity in children to become authors, illustrators, translators and storytellers.


The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:


2. Let a Thousand Tongues Speak - Increasing language diversity in children's books
6. Read. Create. Remix. Give - A Platform to Make Stories Accessible

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.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I am a Publisher - How will this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of an publisher.


I am a Publisher - How will this platform help me?

One of the biggest challenges faced by publishers is to find good stories. The open source platform is a vast reservoir of stories waiting to be re- published in different formats, languages, shapes and sizes, and in different parts of the world. As a publisher you can go through these stories, see which one suits your purpose best and proceed. You can also see the works of new and established authors and discover authors who would be able to customize stories for your purpose or, more importantly, write a new book for you to publish. The platform will be your new and free book agent! The repository also includes illustrations that could be used in the stories that you want to publish because the platform encourages and allows remixing, re-purposing and giving content a new role to play. 

The other big challenge faced by publishers is marketing. If you choose to include books published by you in this open source platform, you can expect other resellers to buy your books. From our experience, we've discovered sales of books made available online, to read, are greater than those not made available online to read (3:1).The platform will allow app developers to give your book exciting new forms, sending them into more hands all across the world. Small printers would be able to get the books translated into new languages, thereby finding new readers for the books. Frankly, the possibilities are endless!


The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

2. Let a Thousand Tongues Speak - Increasing language diversity in children's books
6. Read. Create. Remix. Give - A Platform to Make Stories Accessible

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.


Illustration courtesy : Deepa Balsavar ( from the book Rupaiya Paisa - 3 : The Money Managers)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Read. Create. Remix. Give - A Platform to Make Stories Accessible

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.

Purvi Shah's shares more details about the platform we want to create :

Please click on the image for a larger view

Pratham Books is one of India's largest children's book publisher. And we do about a million books a year. Big numbers, right? But for a country with 240 million children, India prints just 1 book for every 20 children.

Therefore, the way we see it, this is not a problem that 'one organization' can magically solve. This requires the collective strength of a million minds. And hence our solution is to build an innovative, collaborative open source platform. This platform will grow an entirely new ecosystem of content creation and publishing that can help solve the book drought in India and even globally. 

The platform will have 3 verticals each helping with our overall goal of generating stories, translating them in local languages and getting them to children who need it the most.


READ: The first vertical will be a repository of all open content. So copyright free stories, stories under the creative commons licenses will all get featured here. Pratham Books has always propagated an open content policy and therefore to begin with we will upload 1000+ of our CC licensed books.All the content will be curated and presented in a user-friendly manner. The stories will be tagged age-appropriate wise, genre-wise, language-wise etc. This will enable parents, teachers, librarians, facilitators to find stories that are just right for the children that they work with. 

There are very many organizations working towards a literate India. These organizations need good quality reading content. They need stories to fuel the reading hunger. Nobody is addressing this gap in the market and this platform will do just that - enable a continuous stream of content for facilitators and librarians. 


CREATE & REMIX: The collaborative platform will enable the community to write new stories, remix existing content, upload illustrations, do real-time translations, record audio, convert content into digital formats, adapt readily available content to make it locally relevant. 

By default all the work and the derivate work created on the platform will come under the CC licenses. There will be standard templates in place. It will be possible to separate the text, image and layout layers. This will allow communities and individuals to translate, proof, edit, fix and revise translations of one common version. People can make their own versions too. The community can then vote for the translation thats acceptable and lock that version of the translation. Especially for tribal languages and local dialects this platform will work as a language preservation tool. 

Recently when we celebrated 'One Day-One Story' initiative, the books sent for the reading was available in 5 languages but the community translated it and read it out in upto 25 languages. Some of of which were Mizo, Nagamese, Sanskrit, Santhali. This was because there aren't enough good children's books available in these languages. For that storyteller this platform will now suddenly open up a pitaara of thousands of stories which she can translate on the platform, take digital prints and read out to her students. 

The other advantage of this platform is that the content from this platform will be medium agnostic. Such that it can be read online, via ePub readers, text-to-speech, via apps or even Braille. Based on each organizations' mission and goals the content and the content delivery can easily be manipulated. Access will be increased by enabling digital consumption and physical distribution of digital stories via CD's, printed formats etc. 

Essentially this platform will enable a model which is one to one, one to many and many to many model – so depending on local requirements the content can be made highly personalized or highly diffused. 

GIVE: On one hand the platform will provide an open access to a library of digitized stories and illustrations and on the other the platform will seek to leverage the communities we have fostered to crowd-fund libraries for children where they are needed most and for whom they are needed most. 

The crowd-funding platform will help showcase a portfolio of curated organizations looking to raise funds for setting up libraries and provide a way to collect online and offline donations to a preferred library appeal, thereby increasing access of books to children.

We hope that through this platform we will be many steps closer to our dream of creating a Reading India and seeing, 'A Book in Every Child's Hand'.



The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

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

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.

I am an Illustrator - How will this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series  written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc. Today's post is from the viewpoint of an illustrator.


I am an Illustrator - How will this platform help me? 

The open source platform allows one to showcase one's work to a immensely larger audience than a traditional print-publisher driven readership. An illustrator's work becomes available to many millions of readers and also gets an extended life through more derivative works, made possible because it is on an open platform. Imagine your work on apps, mobiles, iPads, merchandise, other new and as-yet unknown mediums! Instead of being locked in a physical book, read by a smaller number of children, or sitting idle in book shops and libraries, the illustrations would fly out and become accessible to a a vast number of children, educators, librarians, parents, and others, who can use them to spread the joy of illustrated stories. The copyright for the work always lies with the illustrator, even if it is is used in other derivative works. Some illustrators distrust open source platforms since they feel their work would be 'stolen'. While this may happen, the other guaranteed result - of being noticed and solicited - far outweighs this. Other publishers will also be able to see your work on this platform, making it a huge marketing tool for your work. Illustrators can look forward to exciting collaboration projects from a worldwide community. As an illustrator, you will also have access to all our openly licensed content, for inspiration and deliberation on different illustration styles.



The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:

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


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.

Illustration courtesy : A collaborative effort of children who participated in a workshop that resulted in the creation of the book 'The Seventh Sun'

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am an Author - How will this platform help me?

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 'I am ...' series written by Mala Kumar will give you an insight into how this platform can be useful to you - as an author, an illustrator, a storyteller, a publisher, etc.  Today's post is from the viewpoint of an author.


I am an Author - How will this platform help me?

A digital story is always within reach. As an author, you always own the copyright. You will have the satisfaction of being read all over the world, even in places where there are no bookshops or libraries. Your story would be read by many more children than you can imagine. An open license platform allows your story to be reproduced, printed, translated and shared with ever-widening circles of readers, thereby increasing your readership manifold. In fact, you can build an audience independent of the publisher!

The platform will allow you see all the stories already published, ensuring that you present a story that is creatively fresh.

Your story would not only be available in the format you presented it in, say as a word document, but also as many digital and audio versions, all aimed at reaching more children worldwide. Imagine your story being read on mobiles, for instance! You could view the openly licensed illustrations and suggest a style that would suit your story best. And with the promise of new forms and new mediums in the future, frankly, the possibilities are unlimited, and the number of reads, unbelievable!


**********

The posts we are sharing about the project will help you understand our vision as well as the scope of this project. Related posts:
1. Introduction
2. Let a Thousand Tongues Speak - Increasing language diversity in children's books


You can also spread the word by :
1. Spreading the word on Google+
2. Sharing it with your friends and family on Facebook
3. Tweeting about the campaign
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.

Illustration courtesy : Alicia Souza (from the book Sam's Christmas Present)

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.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Let a Thousand Tongues Speak

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.
Yesterday, we shared a brief note about the project idea. Today, Manisha Chaudhry, writes about the language situation of children's books in India and the need for language diversity. The post sets the context for why we want to build a platform that can tackle the problem of limited books in limited languages.


Manisha writes ...

“No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social realities. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.” Thus spoke Amy Tan very perceptively about how languages hold a key to how we make sense of the world. If indeed it is so, then India is home to many distinct worlds. With over 122 languages that are spoken by over 10,000 speakers, it is a lush multilingual landscape with vibrant speech communities in constant interaction. 

We would like to see this vibrancy reflected in the world of Indian language publishing also. And even more so in the world of children’s publishing. We believe that all children have a right to be educated and that means so much more than what happens in a classroom with a text book. It must mean something larger if every child is going to have equality of opportunity within and after school. Books beyond the prescribed texts are as important as what the teacher teaches in the classroom. They open windows to the whole wide world of information, emotion, ideas, communication and imagination. They are indeed the key to what can make education integrated and holistic for every child.

For a young child who can best express herself in the mother tongue, it is vital that her first books are in the language she knows best. They not only help her to acquire the basic skill of reading that is needed in school, they also help in making her world whole and complete. Once she has learnt to read with meaning and enjoyment, it opens up the world to her and makes her an autonomous learner. She should have a wide array of choices available to her but most often that is not so.

In most Indian languages, there is not enough being published for children. A lot of it is not well produced or culturally rooted. Many languages find no representation at all in the canon of children’s literature. The tribal child who grows up with a rich repertoire of songs, art and stories will be hard put to find a book that reflects these traditions.

At Pratham Books, we publish engaging and affordable books in up to 12 Indian languages and have recently ventured into publishing in four tribal languages of Odisha. Written by tribal authors from Saura, Munda, Kui and Juanga languages, these will be the first books for children created by people working in early childhood education. They recognize both the tribal traditions of knowledge transfer as well as the demands of a formal school education and have written stories that best reflect this transition. 

It is by engaging with language communities across the country that Pratham Books is going to create children’s literature that speaks in many voices. This is how the joy of reading and stories becomes democratic and perennial.


Monday, October 21, 2013

It is Election Season. Vote for Pratham Books!



Isn’t it exciting that you get to make a huge impact to the lives of Indian children with just a single vote? Our election promise is clear: Help us win, and we will take the joy of reading to the children who need them the most.

Pratham Books is a finalist in the Google Impact Challenge in India for non-profits using technology and innovation to overcome challenges. This Award will help us do what we do in bigger, better, and more effective ways.

This Award will add greatly to our efforts to reach the unreached child. We will create an innovative, open source platform to create thousands of new stories for millions of new readers. It will allow people from around the world, to join in our societal mission, by writing, translating, contextualizing and illustrating stories. They will also have tools to remix and retell old and existing content. We hope this will create the largest repository of stories in multiple Indian languages for children to access freely across different formats and devices, including mobile phones.

You’ve been with us in the past few years, so you know that in the last decade, we’ve created 250 stories, and 1600 books -- which have been read 50 million times. With your vote and this Award, in just 3 years’ time, we will be able to scale up to 20,000 books, across 25 languages and over 200 million book reads.

Now that’s a dream worth chasing! Please vote for us. And do share our story with friends, family, colleagues, followers, readers, and anyone else who believes in an India where all children have stories to read.




Friday, October 11, 2013

HarperCollins India Launches e-book Imprint

Somak Ghoshal writes about the e-book imprint called Harper21 that comprise ‘21 e-singles’ in various genres.


HarperCollins India, the second-largest English-language trade publisher in the country after Penguin Random House, turned 21 this year with the launch of a brand new e-book imprint called Harper21.
“It includes a fairly nimble collection of titles,” says V.K. Karthika, publisher of HarperCollins Publishers India. “We wanted to test the waters before venturing out with an e-book imprint, and felt this was a suitable occasion to do so.”

Harper21 is loosely based on HarperCollins UK’s Impulse imprint, which focuses mostly on romance, but its agenda is more diverse. Comprised of “21 e-singles” it is a list that features a range of genres—from poetry to graphic novel to crime to romance to sports to fitness to business and cinema. The titles are easily downloadable from Amazon India as Kindle e-readers for Rs.21 (http://bit.ly/16nrDJV).

Mostly running for less than 20 pages, these can also be read quickly, and on the go, quite the kind of thing that tech-savvy young readers might fancy. From an essay on the making of Anurag Kashyap’s movie The Gangs of Wasseypur by Jigna Kothari and Supriya Madangarli, to the Neera poems of Sunil Gangopadhyay, translated from the Bengali by Arunava Sinha, it’s quite a catholic fare.

“Most of the content is new,” says Karthika, “except, about 15% of it has been either reworked from existing material or tweaked from titles that are forthcoming.” Around election time, politically relevant titles, especially long-form essays and excerpts, are going to be added to the list to generate buzz.

Read the entire article. You can purchase the books here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Champions Blog : Inspiring Stories from the Field

It has been one month since we've celebrated International Literacy Day. This year 600+ champions joined us to conduct 1000+ storytelling in their communities. Their inspiring stories have been pouring in and we've been updating them on the champions blog. From champions who enjoyed their time so much that they went on to conduct more storytelling sessions. Some of them wanted to buy more books for the kids. Paplu got new avataars through activities and was also translated into new languages. Our books reached new places and the celebrations continue as we read and share every post that champions have shared with us.


All these stories are up on the Champions blog. Please visit the blog and subscribe to receive posts of inspiring stories from the field!

Till now, the blog has documented stories of 172 champions who've conducted 189 storytelling sessions. And there are many more to come. 

You can also view the pictures from the storytelling sessions here and here.

If you are on Google+, you can view the latest stories and pictures we post by adding us to your circles.

And for all the champions, here's a little note from the author of the book : Ramendra Kumar ....
Thanks Champs! Thanks Pratham Books! 
Paplu, the Giant, written by me and illustrated by Zainab Tambawalla was selected for story telling sessions to mark the International Literacy Day, by its publisher Pratham Books. 
On 7th September more than 1000 story telling sessions were held in more than 25 languages in 27 states across the country as well as abroad. The languages included Chinese, Tibetan, Portugese, Nagamese, Mizo, Sanskrit and even sign language. Paplu reached out to kids in Canada, USA, Nepal, Brazil, Latvia, Singapore and Mozambique. 
Come September 7, and the Champions who had conducted the storytelling sessions started sharing the news about their events. What started as a trickle, soon turned into a deluge of mirth, madness, magic and masti. Tale telling, histrionics, art, craft, puppetry, sprinkled liberally with dollops of creativity made each event an endearing and enduring experience. 
Every slice of news increased the surge of adrenalin and soon I was bursting at the seams with pride, happiness and joy, a la Paplu minus of course the magic mantra. 
I would like to thank each and every champion who made Paplu’s tryst with children unforgettable. 
I would like to thank Paplu for happening to me and most of all I would like to thank Pratham Books for making Paplu happen to me.