Pratham Books was set up as a not-for-profit children's book publisher in 2004 with the mission to see 'a book in every child's hand'. The key objective was to publish good quality, affordable story books in multiple Indian languages to support reading acquisition among children.
About 50% of children in India are not reading at grade appropriate levels. Among the many factors that contribute to this is the lack of quality reading material in mother tongue languages. In India, there are critical supply side shortages for supplementary reading resources for children. It is sad that in a country with 22 official languages and several hundred mother- tongues, books are printed primarily in English and Hindi, driven by market economics. Pratham Books created an alternate model to address these inequities to provide quality storybooks for children in multiple languages that are engaging and joyful and encourage a child to learn and practice reading.
Since its inception, Pratham Books has published over 4000 books in 22 Indian languages, with a readership of 50 million. The books cover a range of genres including early readers, fiction, non-fiction, and storybooks on science, history, mathematics and nature. Pratham Books has had the distinction of working with many of the country's renowned authors and illustrators and their books have won several awards as well.
In 2015, Pratham Books launched 2 initiatives:
StorWeaver – a digital library of free children’s storybooks that enables every child to have open access to books in their own language, and
Donate-a-Book – a unique crowdfunding platform to help build libraries for the children who need them the most.
Pratham Books' Board of Trustees and Advisors
R. Sriram, Chairperson and Managing Trustee
Suzanne Singh, Trustee
Ashok Kamath, Trustee
Rekha M. Menon, Trustee
Prof. M.S. Sriram, Trustee
Srikanth Nadhamuni, Trustee
Pervin Varma, Trustee
Harit Nagpal, Trustee
Sumitra Pasupathy, Advisor