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Pratham Atlanta Young Professionals Launch is Greeted with Enthusiasm

By Neha Negandhi
October 2016
Pratham Atlanta Young Professionals Launch is Greeted with Enthusiasm


(Left) A slide with facts presented about Pratham's mission.

Every child has a right to education, its mission statement says. Making this mission achievable, Pratham is one of the world’s leading nongovernmental groups in providing quality education. Pratham USA, an extension of the India-based organization, has fifteen chapters all across the U.S. to help raise funds for the educational programs all across India.

The Pratham Atlanta Young Professionals had its launch on August 25 at Chugh LLP. The age range for the Young Professional member is usually from 25- 40, and their mission to create awareness includes engaging events such as karaoke contests, pub gatherings, and more. As introductions were made around the room, one thing was clear amongst the 50+ event attendees: enthusiasm and motivation was high to help Pratham Atlanta provide educational access to one and all.

Chugh LLP Dunwoody offices had a sizable open space for guests to mingle, eat hors d’oeuvres, and enjoy beverages. Guests were excited about Pratham’s mission, “Every child in school and learning well.” Jalpa Shah, Director of Pratham USA’s Atlanta chapter, gave an informative presentation, opening with her own story about joining the nonprofit organization. While a law student, Shah interned at Pratham, spending time in the Vadodara (India) slums seeing firsthand the lack of education options for India’s underprivileged. “Half of India’s 210 million children can’t read or write,” Shah said, “Pratham uses its flagship program, Read India, to train teachers and give children reading and mathematical literacy.”

Devna Thapliyal and Kinjal Patel as Pratham Atlanta Young Professional’s chairpersons are equally excited about Pratham’s innovative education models for improved learning. They were hostesses alongside Shah at the event, making sure everyone was informed about their mission to create awareness and raise funds to support Pratham’s activities and programs.

Besides serving children, Pratham also teaches vocational and technological skills for post-primary aged youth, and new ways to measure child enrollment and progress. This measuring method consists of 10 years of hard data from Pratham volunteers to assess children’s basic arithmetic and reading levels. Pratham compiles the testing data into a report called ASER, the Annual Status of Education Report (aser also means “impact” in Hindi), now in its twelfth year. The report has become a changing force in moving India’s education reform past compulsory school attendance to actual learning and teaching of skills. “It is an exciting time to be part of a growing organization that is leading the way to make sure every child in India gets educated,” Thapliyal said.

Another ground breaking program is called Second Chance. Pratham provides access to secondary education for female school dropouts over the age of 14 in underserved communities. The alternative education model engages students in a safe, supportive environment and helps them obtain their diploma, improving their prospects for higher education and employment, according to Pratham USA website.

Many event attendees were excited to get involved especially as, one said, “I’m involved in many other nonprofits in Atlanta but to be able to join an organization that directly impacts my home country gives me a direct connection to home.” For more information on Pratham Atlanta, contact jalpa.shah@chugh.com.


Website Bonus Feature

Getting millions to learn: Interview with Madhav Chavan of Pratham
Brookings Institution
Published on Jun 9, 2016
Madhav Chavan discusses Read India, a Pratham initiative that equips children in grades three to five with basic literacy and numeracy skills by engaging them in “combined activities for maximized learning” (CAMaL) or by “teaching at the right level” (TaRL) and one of the case studies explored in Millions Learning. Chavan explains Read India’s approach of engaging policymakers at all levels and mobilizing hundreds of thousands of volunteers to massively scale up the teaching-learning program.

Vasant Learns to Read!
Vasant (name changed) lives in a small village in #UttarPradesh. When we met him, he struggled to read even a Class 1 text. Watch his progress over the period of 3 #LearningCamps. Pratham's #ReadIndia program helps Vasant learn!
#CheerTheChange with Pratham Education Foundation!
April 19, 2015 ·


"Under its Vocational Skills Program, Pratham launched the Beauty Entrepreneurship Program in November 2011. The goal of this program is simple: create employment opportunities at the local level."

Samita enrolled in a 3-month electrical course at PACE (Pratham Arora Center for Education). The 18-year-old admits to a life-long interest in all things technical: studying gadgets, working with her hands, fixing appliances at home. Having the proper training now gives her a chance for a career. Samita is eager to prove herself in the male-dominated electrical field. She understands the inner workings of a light bulb. She can mend a solar street lamp. She is ready to support herself with a job, even if it means moving away from her family.

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