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Anupa Lal

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Pratham Books
June 20, 2011

With the arrival of enthusiastic and competent young publishers like Pratham Books (started in 2004), the children's book industry in India finally seems to be getting its act together! As a writer, translator and reviewer of children's books for 4 decades, this gives me tremendous pleasure.

Pratham Books aims to put a book in the hands of every Indian child.There are 300 million children in the country, speaking at least 21 languages. And many of them live in dire poverty, in remote, inaccessible areas.Getting good books to these children is a monumental task which Pratham Books seems to be tackling
with both creativity and vigour. In the last year Pratham teams have been reaching out to state governments and NGOs across the country to make books available not only through libraries, shops,schools and book fairs, but also through village post offices and at bus and train stations.

Realizing the enormity of the task ahead, they are also reaching out to other publishers and organizations so as to jointly produce rich and varied fare for children. In 2010 Pratham Books published 'Nono, the Snow Leopard' in 4 Indian languages, in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Foundation and the Snow Leopard Trust.

Recently they adopted the Creative Commons framework - making their stories and illustrations available under an open licence model. This has meant that their books are reaching children not just as written words but also as audio books, books in Braille for the visually handicapped, as well as iPad and iPhone applications.

All these excellent initiatives go to show how an organization can fly while remaining firmly grounded!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my interactions with their team and their volunteers who are very strongly committed yet full of fun. I find the range of Pratham's activities very inspiring.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them whatever they feel they need in order to deliver faster and better .

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I continue to write for Pratham Books - currently bi-lingual books, and do storytelling sessions for under privileged children.

Pratham Books
October 12, 2009

Pratham Books' aim of putting a book in the hand of every child is a most laudable and much needed objective for an Indian publisher. There are millions of children in India and yet most books for them sell only in thousands. This means far too many children are deprived of books.Whatever be the reasons,and there are several, this is both sad and shameful. And it has been this way for the almost forty years that I have been associated with children as a writer, translator, reviewer and storyteller. To do justice to the children of our country,particularly the under-privileged, we need many,many more high quality,low priced books for them in all the Indian languages. And we need to reach these books to them. Pratham Books has made an excellent beginning.In the five years of its existence, its bright, well-produced, very reasonably priced books - and its story cards(which are shortened but still illustrated versions of their books, priced at just two rupees each)-have been read with pleasure by millions of children all over the country. May the efforts of Pratham Books go from strength to strength! And may many more 'Prathams' bloom and grow! The gratitude of India's young will bless them.

More feedback

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

cheerful, practical and committed to their cause, without being either sugary or appearing noble!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I have written and translated a book for them and told stories to under- privileged children.