Spreading the Joy of Reading – The Pratham Books’ Way
Pratham Books was created in order to:
- Reach out to ALL children in India with high quality books that are affordable
- Publish children’s books in multiple Indian languages so that children in every corner of India can have access to booksMs. Suzanne Singh, Managing Trustee, Pratham Books says, “There are more than 300 million children in India, and a large percentage of these attend government schools. These children need books that they can relate to and in a language that they can understand. In urban India we are so used to seeing and associating with non-Indian characters that we don’t make much of it but the same reading material in a rural context, and that too in English just does not work. It is this asymmetry in the children’s book publishing indisutry, that Pratham Books is hoping to bridge.
“Affordability is another aspect of Pratham Books that is worthy of exploring. Ms. Suzanne further drives home the point by adding, “Our books are reasonably priced, with most books available under Rs. 25. Most people, especially our online urban buyers are very surprised by this.
Another admirable route the organisation is taking is via their treatment of copyright on these books. By all usual methods of operation, the publisher owns the rights to the creative content in books published, but Pratham Books has a very inclusive policy on their content and they use the Creative Common License which isn’t as restrictive.
We queried as to the best way to volunteer and Suzanne insisted that the ideal way to help is to help them spread their content as far and wide as possible. And they’re more than happy if you were to adapt it in the process! For volunteering opportunities and any other queries, write to them at [email protected]
Another way to help is via events. Pratham Books’ stronghold is Bangalore and they have a presence in other metros as well. “What we’d like is if people volunteered to run events in parallel with the ones we conduct in Bangalore or elsewhere.”