Google’s Global Impact Awards are honoring the powerful ways that tech produces substantial, positive outcomes in the lives of communities around the world. A program related to Kravis Prize recipient Pratham is among 10 nominees for this year’s award as part of the Google Impact Challenge initiative.
While three winners will be determined by a panel of judges, a fourth winner will be based on an internet-wide vote. The deadline for voting is October 30. Go here to cast your vote.
The Global Impact Challenge is an award program providing help to Indian non-profits that are targeting some of that nation’s most serious problems. Among this year’s candidates are several employing digital tools to address situations including sanitation in India’s slums, gender-based violence, and education in rural areas.
Pratham Books, which fits under the umbrella of efforts by Pratham (recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership in 2010), is under award consideration for its development of an easy access web platform to support children’s literacy throughout the country.
According to their proposal, reading levels fall far below satisfactory standards — “Nearly 50% of Indian 5th graders currently read at a 2nd grade level” — and this dire problem is largely due to a lack of available age-appropriate reading materials.
With the help of a Global Impact Award, Pratham Books will construct an open source website where children’s e-books can be created and existing children’s books from around the world can be translated into at least 25 languages.
“The word Pratham means ‘first’ or ‘priority,’ and we think that having every child in school and learning well should be India’s top priority,” Program Director Rukmini Banerji told an interviewer during a visit to the CMC campus in 2010 for the Kravis Prize award ceremony.
Since its establishment in 1994, Pratham has focused on the meager educational resources available to impoverished youths as a means of building the country’s future success. In 2007, the organization launched Read India, a flagship program targeting the remedial needs of children ages 6-14.
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