Pratham UK - A Charity for Children in India
PRATHAM: Every Child in School and Learning Well
Pratham is a charity for children in India and was seeded in Mumbai by UNICEF and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in 1994 with a mission to ensure "every child in school and learning well". The organisation was formed as a tripartite partnership between the government, the corporate sector and citizens. Today the mission has expanded to 21 of India’s 28 states and is the largest non-governmental children's charity working to provide quality education to underprivileged children in rural and urban India.
In 2009, Pratham received the CNN IBN Indian of the Year in the Public Service category and was designated as a "must buy" by the Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab, MIT. Pratham is also the recipient of the Henry Kravis award for Leadership for 2010 and most recently the EMPI-India Express Gold award for Innovation for Read India.
Pratham's flagship program, Read India, aims to improve the reading and basic arithmetic skills of the children in the age group of 6-14 years in rural India. At its peak, in 2008-09, the campaign reached 33 million children across 19 states. It covered 305,000 out of the 600,000 villages of India and mobilized 450,000 volunteers. Over 600,000 teachers/ officials/ government workers have been trained in accelerated learning methodologies. Where the government and Pratham have come together, we have seen the learning levels of all children in the state jump at least 20 percentage points. 24 states have taken up learning improvement programs. Read India was a response to the shocking results of the first Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which showed that 50% of India’s school going children could not read. ASER is a survey of learning levels on the 6-14 age group, facilitated by Pratham, and conducted by 32,000 volunteers sampling 704,000 children. As many as 13 states are using ASER like tools to measure the progress in reading and arithmetic.