Giving Back


India is home to 40% of the world’s illiterate.
India is a special country, with an especially big literacy problem.

Children suffer the most.
Even worse, of the country’s 210 million children, almost half are unable to read. That is both the root of the problem and its cruelest consequence. Without education, these children are vulnerable and unlikely to ever rise above the poverty of previous generations.

A Persistent child labour problem.
In India, an estimated 11 million children work as child labourers. It is an unacceptable truth that is both a cause and byproduct of India’s continuing cycle of illiteracy.


Simply raising enrollment isn’t the answer.
Most individuals unfamiliar with India’s education crisis would expect that a lack of school access is the primary problem. However, although 96.5% percent of children are officially enrolled in school, half of them cannot read.

Women are not learning.
On top of that women’s participation in school is particularly poor—a fact which does not bode well for women’s standing in society or the job market.

Teachers are falling short.
In addition to low student attendance, in many regions teacher attendance is very low. Furthermore, many schools have only one teacher per classroom, and far too many children per teacher.

Even the literate are lagging.
Even India’s literate children continue to struggle and lag behind acceptable learning levels. In many cases, they’re attending, but just not learning.

  • 100 million cannot read or write at the age appropriate level
  • 46.3% of ten year olds cannot read a text designed for a five year old
  • 64.1% of ten year olds cannot do basic division
Poverty Cycle


Illiteracy breeds a cycle of poverty and exploitation. Pratham helps BREAK the cycle.

Pratham is the first in promoting childhood literacy in India.

In the 1990s, half of the world’s illiterate children were in India.
We created Pratham to change that. We believe education is the fundamental right of every child and no child should be deprived of this basic right simply because he or she does not have access to it or does not have the resources to realize his or her dreams.

Pratham means “first” in Sanskrit.
We are the first major organization to achieve lasting, wide-scale success in educating India’s youth. Our mission is to improve the quality of education in India and to ensure that all children in India are not only attending but also thriving in school. Using very low-cost and scalable methods, Pratham works in collaboration with the government, local communities, parents, teachers and volunteers across the country to achieve its mission.

We’ve reached over a million children in India.
Since our beginnings in the slums of Mumbai in 1994, we’ve become the largest non-governmental organization working to provide quality education to rural and urban children throughout India. Today, Pratham’s programs—including pre-schools, community libraries and remedial learning programs—reach millions of children every year.

Our programs focus on results and accountability.
All our programs are designed to ensure that:

  • Enrollment in schools increases
  • Learning in schools and communities increases
  • The education net reaches children who are unable to attend school
  • Successful models are replicated, scaled up, and implemented elsewhere

We learn from all initiatives to continually improve our approaches and results.

Pratham Class


Dedicated to Large Scale Change.
Pratham firmly believes in working with the government to bring about large-scale change. Our programs are aimed at supplementing rather than replacing governmental efforts. We have signed Memorandums of Understanding with eight state governments for our flagship program, Read India, and are working in close collaboration with the municipal corporations in several cities such as Mumbai and Delhi.

Low Cost Models Allow Us to Do More.
We also work with the school systems and communities to plan and implement our programs. Thousands of volunteers, who belong to the same communities as the children, work with us to implement the interventions at the grassroots. These volunteers are mobilized, trained and monitored by the Pratham team and are also provided with Teacher Learning Material and books developed by Pratham. This not only ensures more effective implementation of our programs, but also helps build capacities at the grassroots level for providing quality education to the children.

A Powerful Voice in the Area of Education Reform.
Pratham has also become a powerful voice in the area of education reform. Central and State Governments refer to Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) when formulating various plans and policies. Our senior team leaders are members of important policy making bodies both at the central and state levels, including the Governing Council of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

A diverse team unified by a common goal.
We are educators, development professionals, media professionals, corporate professionals, workers, activists, PhDs, MBAs, CAs, civil servants, bankers and consultants who all bring our experiences and perspectives to this organization and are unified by the vision of improving the future of our children.


Varsha and Rehmat from Pratham-UK were kind enough to took us for a day visit and show us how Pratham-UK is changing lives of hundreds of kids in Mumbai slums.

* Classes In Progress

We are so proud to say and pass our heartfelt wishes for the love and gratitude they have shown. Pratham-UK has an active ground force which works to recognize and categorize the families living in the slum areas. Based on the statistics they divide the whole slum into small areas and find teachers who can work part/full time in those areas. Teachers use their own houses as classrooms and we were witness to their love and kindness with which they teach and treat all the kids.

* Varsha (Left) & Rehmat (Right), Taking Us Through The Slums, Way To The Class

The kids attending the classes are from families whose parents cannot afford to send their kids to far off government schools or do not have time to pick and drop their kids.


We visited five classrooms where classes for Nursery and Primary were being held, there was a dedicated Library as well which the kids in the area can use.


Even kids going to public school were attending these classes to improve their English skills. Nursery/Primary classes were held in Hindi/Urdu, depending upon the language prevalent in that area.


There is almost 1 class within each km and we were so impressed to meet those amazing selfless and kind teachers (from the same area) who managed to take their time out and teach kids in addition to their daily chores. It was incredible to see what can be achieved in 20 Sq. Ft area if someone makes up their mind…

Hats off to Pratham-UK, their staff and all those people who are heart-fully and selflessly involved to do whatever best they can do to help the future of our nation.



We say thank you once again and pass our gratitude to all of you who came forward and donated money. Your hard earned money has been invested in one of the best efforts we can think of and thank you for motivating us and encouraging us at every single kilometer we drove.