Jan 29, 2019

Austin Donors Make Collective Impact


Inspired by Pratham’s Hamara Gaon initiative, which is designed to establish a more sustained presence and offer comprehensive programming in 5,000 communities across India, Austin donors Bhavna Guglani, Kanna Venkatasamy and Chitra Thankaswamy have made a joint commitment of $150,000. Their combined support will sustain Pratham education programs for three years in 25 villages in Tamil Nadu, impacting a total of 2500 children.

This new approach aims to improve the learning levels of children and create a sustainable community-driven education environment. It will prepare younger children to enter school, impart reading and math skills to elementary students, and develop reasoning and problem-solving skills in older children. The program also seeks to engage families and community members in the education process through fairs and village report cards, while familiarizing children with digital tools and making them aware of vocational training and employment opportunities.

“Our decision to really act on it solidified when Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji visited Austin in September 2018 and talked about the project, which at the time was still in the early stages of development,” explained Bhavna. “We were happy that we could fund a new initiative that was being tested. We chose Tamil Nadu because both Kanna and Chitra have family in Chennai and the impact would be close to home.”

Supporting the education process at multiple levels can be transformative and create model villages that serve as examples for other communities and governments. The Pratham Austin chapter thanks Bhavna, Kanna and Chitra for their generosity and hopes that this partnership will inspire others to increase their impact through collaborative philanthropy.