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PlanetRead

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: We are on a mission to rapidly transform hundreds of millions of early-literates into functionally reading people, by making reading a part of their everyday entertainment. PlanetRead is a not-for-profit registered in USA and in India with the simple vision of a reading planet - a planet where everyone can read and have access to interesting and affordable reading opportunities in both his/her native or other language(s). PlanetRead along with IIM-Ahmedabad, India innovated the idea of Same Language Subtitling (SLS) for mass literacy/reading skill development. SLS is the idea of subtitling audio-visual content in the “same” language and script as the audio. Visit: www.planetread.org

Results: SLS has given reading practice to over 200 million people for many years. Independent studies have shown that regular exposure to SLS for just 30 mins per week can make a person functionally literate. SLS was first conceived in IIM Ahmedabad in 1996 and since then telecast on national TV in 10 languages all over India. Know more: https://www.planetread.org/slsprograms

Target demographics: Semi literates i.e. weak readers (both adults and children) who know the alphabets but cannot read for example the headlines of a newspaper.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2018, we reached more than 40,000 children by providing them regular reading practice with the help of AniBooks (animated stories) with SLS.

Geographic areas served: India where SLS has been added to Bollywood songs for mass literacy. We have produced AniBooks (animated stories with SLS) that are being used worldwide via YouTube.

Programs: Same Language Subtitling (SLS) of audio visual content for ex. bollywood songs for adults and animated stories for children.

Community Stories

110 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Ken Banks

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PlanetRead and the team behind it are an inspiration to me - a brilliantly simple idea well executed through tenacity, intelligence and good old-fashioned hard work. Theirs is a story of sticking with something they believed in, often in the face of great challenges, eventually coming through and inspiring the reading skills of literally millions of young children in India. I've been so impressed with their model and approach that they've been featured in both of my social innovation books - and because of that, I know their story resonates with many other people, too. One of my favourite NGOs, period.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Its mind boggling and a simple idea to improve literarcy around the world with cost effective strategies build in. To start with an Asia country, its better to start off. When i came to know of this service i was awe inspired. FUN with education is the basic which i will always love to be part of.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

As Ashoka's Volunteer Coordinator, I've had many occasions to hear about PlanetRead's needs and successes. Many of our volunteers are attracted to their work. They are always responsive and are obviously strong contributors to eradicating illiteracy!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What amazes me about PlanetRead's innovation is the simplicity of the idea. Education through staple entertainment and that gives automatic reading practice. With about 300 million illiterates, India is still one of the fastest growing economies, imagine what we can do if the whole nation is literate. PlanetRead has an amazing team and they truly believe in what they are doing. The idea has great potential and they should find ways to scale up.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What's the difference between a man and an animal? Education of course! It's a virtue none of us can live without. And if you observe the world around us, you'll realize that the lack of (right) education is the root cause of all anarchy in the world. We know that the first step of education is literacy. And how many illiterates are there in the world today? 900 million!!! PlanetRead, I came to know, reach out to 200 MILLION early literates and make them functional literates while they enjoy their favorite film songs! How is it done? Just by subtitling those film songs! If that's not impressive, then what is? Being an Indian, I am proud that such an NGO is working in my country, to make India literate. I wish them all the success in their good work and hope that they'll be able to expand their work globally so that we have a fully literate and better world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is good to educate with entertainment. No one will get bored with this kind of learning. It will improve our reading skills. Great work! Keep it up! Spread it all over the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PlanetRead is continuing to help millions of people all over India to improve their literacy. SLS has become a proven method. Several years of research vouches for it. And now it is time for the Indian Government to notice this innovative idea and make it as a national policy so that at least one program per language has SLS in it. The idea of SLS for improving literacy should not be underestimated.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 4

SLS is an innovative idea to improve literacy. And with SLS songs coming on a national TV channel, it reaches to several million people. Helping many of them to practice and improve their reading skills. In India, where the film songs are quite popular, SLS is quite useful as common people also sing along as they see on TV. Plus with many Indian women living as home-makers, have poor access to reading materials. SLS Songs are a boon for them to improve their language skills. This should be done in all major song programs to maximize the benefit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a great idea for education. I am happy to support it

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am very proud to rejoined in Planetread organization. It is different from other non governmental organization. Same Language Subtitling is good concept, It will improve the literacy level.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am in the education field and I am still to find another method as simple and cost effective to propagate literacy such as the one PlanetRead uses. SLS is indeed a fun and subsconscious way to learn literacy!

Sweta M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Here it proves that a simple yet efficient way can make a big difference. A brilliant idea to improve the literacy rate in India. i have seen their program in DD National Hindi and trust me it's really effective.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PlanetRead is an amazing social venture that is doing an awesome job of promoting literacy among all in India. PlanetRead does subtitling with songs which is really a mere fun for all age groups. This makes the individual read the subtitles and sing along thus promoting their reading abilities. Today everyone has access to television including slum areas giving easy accessibility to songs with subtitles. This simple yet innovative idea of Same Language Subtitling is making a good difference among the weak readers in our country.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A very simple yet efficient way to promote literacy, having fun improving reading abilities or learning a new language.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

When I first hear about PlanetRead a few years ago, I was amazed by the simplicity of their work. Like many simple ideas, it's actually quite brilliant and has had an incredible impact on literacy levels around India. I remember first hearing about the organisation while I was at Stanford University, and as a fan of appropriate technology I loved the fact that it used already existing technologies (and behaviours) to enhance reading skills in an extremely clever way. The team at PlanetRead are amazingly dedicated, smart and creative, and as committed as anyone I have met to their cause.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I know some of my friends who work at PlanetRead and it's really great to see the commitment they have towards spreading literacy. Their idea is so simple and brilliantly executed. I have seen these programs on TV in my mother tongue and it's really nice.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The simplicity of the work that PlanetRead does is amazing. I been a part of the team in the past and have done research in the field of how this idea helps improve children's reading skills. I am teacher and also run a children's creche and I know for sure SLS will help people with weak reading skills.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

SLS, a concept pioneered by PlanetRead is aimed at increasing the literacy levels in India. It uses the idea of subtitling lyrics of film songs on TV, in the ‘same’ language that they are sung.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PlanetRead is doing a wonderful job of spreading literacy and providing reading practice to millions of people in India through innovative use of entertainment. I was so impressed by PlanetRead's initiatives that after graduation, I joined PlanetRead instead of taking up job offers from leading MNCs. As part of the PlanetRead team, I traveled to the far flung areas in rural India and saw for myself the effectiveness and the impact PlanetRead is having. PlanetRead's simple, yet powerful methodologies can be an answer to solving some of the most pressing challenges that the world faces.

Kate T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PlanetRead is championing creative and effective literacy education in India nationwide. Employing the best aspects of modern technology, entertainment and informal education, it's making important inroads into the inequality that bars Indians who are illiterate. The PlanetRead team has developed a proven method of subtitling Bollywood subtitles in the languages spoken, christened Same Language Subtitling (SLS). This simple change reinforces association between what is spoken/sung and what is on the screen, eventually leading to greater recognition of letters, words and then reading.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first and only organization of the kind I have come across that combines fun, entertainment, literacy and outreach in a very simple innovative manner!
I had the opportunity to volunteer for an awesome event and do some fundraising for PlanetRead and it was so much fun and a great learning experience!! Everyone who work for PlanetRead believe in the cause and put in their maximum (which is a lot) to make it come to life. I hope they are able to reach many more places and educate & entertain many more people.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Working with PlanetRead in the summer of 2006 gave me excellent exposure to using technology and media for educational change.


While things in India are often disorganized, and PlanetRead could focus more on internal organization, their mission and strategy.