Pratham in the India Today

The current issue of the India Today has a write up about the Pratham network.

A cement floor becomes a blackboard, a fridge is bought with what looks like Monopoly currency and hopscotch gets a twist with numbers written in boxes to be identified as children skip along. It’s summertime and school is over, but 20 km off the eight-lane Delhi-Jaipur expressway in Kankrola village, Haryana, 70 children between the ages of six and 10 are at a Pratham summer camp. Three hours a day, seven days a week, their voices drown out the cries of peacocks as they chant tables under a banyan tree in a quarter acre compound bordered by shahtoot, pipal and neem trees. Six-year-old Nikita looks forward to her reading class, Chand Aur Tare, her favourite story. Santosh Shivendre has learnt to write her name and painstakingly practices numbers from one to 100 everyday, but doesn’t know how old she is.It’s a world away from Mumbai’s slums, where Madhav Chavan and Farida Lambay started Pratham in 1994, a product of the Bombay Educational Initiative by UNICEF.

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