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Imagine An India Where Every Child Can Read

Bindu Tuli
03/03/2011

Imagine an India where every child can read

Education should not be privilege but a right for every child. But is that so? Pratham, a non-profit organization focused on education of children in India, has made a commitment to ensure that every child has access to school and is learning well. Pratham is earnestly trying to mobilize the citizens, the government, and the private sector to ensure the strengthening of education in the country.

Pratham Boston team will be communicating with you every two months on Lokvani. Through this series, we hope to bring to you snippets that capture the work of our teams.

Pratham started in Mumbai in 1994 with the core objective of enrolling every child in school and to ensure that they learn well. Today, part of the Clinton Global Initiative, Pratham operates in over 20 states, 57 cities, and in 700 rural districts across India. Pratham is funded by international foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, Indian and multinational businesses, individuals, as well as state governments. Pratham operates programs in rural and urban communities, working with volunteers, school teachers, and with local governments.

2010 was a big year for Pratham.  Amongst other things:

·         Pratham leaders met President Barack Obama during his visit to Mumbai and received his endorsement

·         Pratham was awarded the Indian Business Leader Award in the Social Enterprise category by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and CNBC TV 18

·         Pratham CEO and Founder Madhav Chavan presented at the Public Services Summit co-hosted by Cisco and the City of Stockholm as part of Nobel Week     

Pratham Boston team is proud to have raised approximately $200,000 in 2010 to help support the various programs run by Pratham in India. Pratham Boston’s next endeavor is an enchanting evening  of memorable geets and ghazals hosted by a few volunteers. Come and enjoy exquisite poetry set to melodious music as we present hits such as "Aaj jaane ki zid na karo", "Deewaron se milkar", "Gham ka khazana" and filmi hits such as "Woh shaam kuch ajeeb thi" ,"Aanchal mein saja lena", "Rasme ulfat ko nibhayen kaise"and others.This event will be held on March 19th, 7:00 PM at The Hall 125 ProspectSt Framingham, MA. The tickets are$15/person, $25/couple and are available at the door.

Pratham Boston team is also planning a fun-filled and exciting musical night in collaboration with Aaroh music group. Aaroh is a New England based Indian music band that performs primarily in the greater Boston area. We expect this event to draw people from all ages that are fond of lively Bollywood music. The event will be held in the month of May. Stay tuned for more details on this event.

Once again, Pratham Boston team is
looking for outstanding interns interested in a career in international development, education, or the nonprofit sector. Through this program, summer interns get a first-hand experience at working in an NGO at the grassroots level and influencing the life of those children who have very little education available to them.

Here are some of our highlights from 2010:

·         Bollywood Legend Anupam Kher delivers keynote address at 2010 Pratham Boston Gala

Acclaimed Bollywood actor Anupam Kher joined renowned activists, professors, doctors, students, and professionals on September 25, 2010 for the third annual Pratham Boston Gala at the Marriott hotel in Cambridge. Over 200 guests came together to support the cause of education and the empowerment of underprivileged children in India.  The Gala showcased Pratham's wide ranging efforts to bring literacy to millions of children all over India and underscored the tremendous support in the Boston community for this goal.  

·         Madhav Chavan delivers case at Harvard Business School

Pratham co-founder and CEO, Dr. Madhav Chavan, visited Harvard Business School twice in 2010 to speak to Professor Srikant Datar's Executive MBA course.  Dr. Chavan delivered the Harvard Business School case study about Pratham written by Professor Datar.  His lectures engaged and inspired the students who greeted him enthusiastically with standing ovations.

·         Pratham Boston sends summer interns to work for Pratham India

Pratham Boston sent a third summer internship class to Pratham India.  The class included two students from Claremont McKenna College and Shinjini Chatterjee, a 2010 graduate from Brown University.  Based in Delhi, Chatterjee worked on a survey of rural India's primary schools and helped develop tools used to conduct surveys in five Indian states.  Since formally finishing her summer internship, Chatterjee has continued working for Pratham in Delhi.

·         Indian Medical Association of New England partners with Pratham Boston for fundraiser

Partnering with the Indian Medical Association of New England, Pratham Boston held a fundraiser at the Tamarind Bay restaurant in May.  Highlights included a presentation of Pratham's work and entertainment act by Brownstar.

·         Sanjay Mirchandani and Vikrant Raina join Pratham Boston Advisory Board

Pratham Boston recently announced that Sanjay Mirchandani(Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of EMC Corporation), Vikrant Raina (Managing Partner of BV Investment Partners), Dr. Gita Rao (Boston Common Asset Management) and Bhaskar Chakravorti (Senior Associate Dean for International Business and Finance at the Fletcher School at Tufts University).have joined its Advisory Board.  The full Advisory Board can be seen on the Pratham Boston website.

If you would like to be a member of Pratham family, check out http://www.prathamusa.org/dnn/Chapters/Boston/tabid/62/Default.aspx

The next article on Pratham will be published in 2 months and will focus on Pratham Boston team’s outlook on 2011 and their plans to raise awareness and funds for Pratham children in India in 2011.

Together, let’s build a more literate India and empower the dreams of the children who are the future of India.



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