Knowledge that can radically change lives is a potent form of knowledge that cuts across categories and barriers — that’s been the key to Pratham’s success for more than 20 years, and it’s also the reason why the Mumbai-based organization and 2010 Kravis Prize recipient has been selected for a 2013 Frontiers of Knowledge Award from  the BBVA Foundation.

The BBVA Foundation, which serves as the charitable arm of the banking organizations Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria,  has announced the selection of eight 2013 laureates, including Pratham, which has been honored for “their originality, theoretical significance and ability to push back the frontiers of the known world.”

The award includes a cash prize of €400,000 (approx. $570,000).

While biologist Christopher Field was awarded for his work on climate change and British biochemist Adrian Bird for his discoveries in epigenetics, Pratham was honored for its educational work with disadvantaged children in the award category of “development cooperation.”

“Pratham has expanded the scope of education in resource-constrained areas,” the BBVA jury announced in a prepared statement. “It has done so through two significant innovations: the creation of simple, accurate and reliable tools for communities to assess learning; and a process that uses scientific evidence to develop new cost-effective programs that drastically improve learning levels.”

Though Pratham has been in operation in India since 1994, its profile outside the country remained relatively low until the awarding of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership in 2010.

In the years since that award in recognition of the NGO’s work on improving literacy with programs such as Read India, Pratham has gone on to receive several more major international awards, including the WISE Prize and the TOI (Times of India) Social Impact Award, and raise greater awareness in the world community.


 A year ahead of its tenth anniversary (in 2015), the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership honored its 10th recipient, Helen Keller International, during an awards luncheon and dinner held in March at CMC’s Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

HKI President Kathy Spahn received the award, presented to her by Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis ’67. Spahn also discussed her organization’s global work not only to treat preventable forms of blindness, but also to develop micro-finance efforts and sustainable economic structures for small, impoverished communities.

To read more news about the 9th Annual Kravis Prize Ceremony, visit:

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