Feb 22, 2017

Witnessing Pratham Programs Firsthand


During a recent trip to India with his family, Houston supporter Gaurav Dhume set aside time to visit Pratham. Below is an account of his site visit and impressions of Pratham’s work.

I recently had the opportunity to visit a Pratham educational site in India. While I have been volunteering at the annual gala in Houston for the past few years, this was my first experience witnessing the programs firsthand. To reach the site, we walked into a low-cost housing complex of 250 homes in Worli, a suburb of Mumbai where Pratham educates 150 children. We were received by two Pratham employees who guided us into a room where a reading lesson was being conducted.

The children were between the ages of six and fourteen, and all ten of them were diligently focused on the lesson. We learned that the classes are grouped based not on age but capability, which in India, is unique to Pratham. The benefit of having a teacher from their community was also evident, as the students were more comfortable and willing to learn from a familiar face. I noticed that their books were of good quality, their teacher was passionate and the room was well lit – all of which fostered a positive learning environment.

After spending twenty minutes there, we were taken to a Balwadi (preschool) where younger children were seated on a mat with all eyes focused on the teacher. As we walked in, she was teaching the class how to introduce themselves and how to describe their father’s occupation in English. Next, she showed the students pictures of inanimate objects and animals, asking them to identify the picture. I was pleasantly surprised to see the emphasis placed on the English language by Pratham.

Education is a great social and economic liberator. Pratham is such an empowering charity because it focuses on educating underprivileged children. The visit opened my eyes to the reality of their situation and the tremendous work that Pratham is undertaking in these communities. It was a great reminder that the fundraising efforts that take place in Houston and other Pratham chapters around the world lead to tangible results. With the positive effect Pratham is having on educating millions, I am optimistic about the future of India and am proud to support this cause.

Learn more about how you can visit a Pratham site!