First in promoting childhood literacy in India.
In the 1990s, half of the world’s illiterate children were in India.
We created Pratham to change that. We believe education is the fundamental right of every child and no child should be deprived of this basic right simply because he or she does not have access to it or does not have the resources to realize his or her dreams.
Pratham means "first" in Sanskrit.
We are the first major organization to achieve lasting, wide-scale success in educating India’s youth. Our mission is to improve the quality of education in India and to ensure that all children in India are not only attending but also thriving in school. Using very low-cost and scalable methods, Pratham works in collaboration with the government, local communities, parents, teachers and volunteers across the country to achieve its mission.
We’ve reached over a million children in India.
Since our beginnings in the slums of Mumbai in 1994, we’ve become the largest non-governmental organization working to provide quality education to rural and urban children throughout India. Today, Pratham’s programs—including pre-schools, community libraries and remedial learning programs—reach millions of children every year.
Our programs focus on results and accountability.
All our programs are designed to ensure that:
- Enrollment in schools increases
- Learning in schools and communities increases
- The education net reaches children who are unable to attend school
- Successful models are replicated, scaled up, and implemented elsewhere
We learn from all initiatives to continually improve our approaches and results.
Dedicated to Large Scale Change
Pratham firmly believes in working with the government to bring about large-scale change. Our programs are aimed at supplementing rather than replacing governmental efforts. We have signed Memorandums of Understanding with eight state governments for our flagship program, Read India, and are working in close collaboration with the municipal corporations in several cities such as Mumbai and Delhi.
Low Cost Models Allow Us to Do More
We also work with the school systems and communities to plan and implement our programs. Thousands of volunteers, who belong to the same communities as the children, work with us to implement the interventions at the grassroots. These volunteers are mobilized, trained and monitored by the Pratham team and are also provided with Teacher Learning Material and books developed by Pratham. This not only ensures more effective implementation of our programs, but also helps build capacities at the grassroots level for providing quality education to the children.
A Powerful Voice in the Area of Education Reform
Pratham has also become a powerful voice in the area of education reform. Central and State Governments refer to Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) when formulating various plans and policies. Our senior team leaders are members of important policy making bodies both at the central and state levels, including the Governing Council of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
A diverse team unified by a common goal.
We are educators, development professionals, media professionals, corporate professionals, workers, activists, PhDs, MBAs, CAs, civil servants, bankers and consultants who all bring our experiences and perspectives to this organization and are unified by the vision of improving the future of our children.
Are you one of us? Learn the many ways you can help.
—– Jalpa Shah
“Every time I would walk through the community… they would just smile like they’ve known me for so long… It made me realize that I am doing the right thing because I impacted someone’s life.”