Dec 14, 2020

Pratham Community gets into the Spirit of Giving


On Saturday, December 12, 2020, Pratham hosted its holiday event, ‘Spirit of Giving.’ It was an evening filled with music, merriment and more – all in support of Pratham’s Digital Learning Villages initiative. The event was watched by over 300 guests. The world’s first South Asian a cappella group, Penn Masala, kicked off the evening on a musical note with a lively performance, and the evening wrapped up with stand-up comedian, Amit Tandon’s, hilarious act. You can view the recording of Penn Masala’s performance and get to know more about Digital Learning Villages here.

Pradeep Singh, Vice Chairman of Pratham USA, and Deepak Raj, Chairman of Pratham USA, both shared their commitment to Pratham’s Digital Learning Villages (DLVs) initiative by adopting 25 villages each. These Digital Learning Villages will provide learning opportunities to children in under-resourced communities in India. Singh expressed his excitement for the DLVs saying, “These DLVs (Digital Learning Villages)… enable us, because they are digital, to have donors directly engage with [the villages], to be able to see the kids, to be able to see the reps, to see the exercises or the WhatsApp examples that go out, to be able to every now and then be a part of a Zoom call, and over time build a journey by which [donors] become an active part of this impact on the ground.”

Deepak Raj introduced Manu Shah from Sarva Mangal Family Trust, one of the key supporters of Pratham’s digital initiatives, who he said, “not only [pushed] us in the right direction but gave us financial support and a security net to experiment and to crack the code on how EdTech solutions can be applied to millions of children year after year and do it in a very cost-effective fashion.” 

Manu Shah, CEO and Cofounder of MS International, said, “We are proud to see how Pratham found itself in a better position than other players as it was able to adapt to the current needs of the children in India during the pandemic and ensured that they continued learning with the digital tools that were made available to them. We at Sarva Mangal Trust are proud of our partnership with Pratham and appreciate all the work that their team has put into making it into a global example of education, especially in [the] last ten months.”  

Several supporters from across the US shared their reasons for adopting villages and encouraged others to join them at this crucial time when the need to help children in India is great. The audience also got to see children from India who spoke about how Pratham’s learning initiatives have helped them learn during the pandemic and thanked our supporters.

Dr. Madhav Chavan, Pratham Co-founder and President, introduced Ben Gomes, SVP of Learning and Education at Google. has also been a vital supporter of Pratham’s digital learning initiatives over the years. Gomes said, “Over the years as I’ve gotten to know Pratham, I’ve been really impressed by Pratham’s creativity and their willingness and interest in taking new approaches to this complex problem of education in India.” 

The audience also got to hear from Dr. Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham, who thanked everyone for supporting Pratham this year.  

It was a fun-filled evening filled with Penn Masala music which is a fusion of popular Bollywood songs and Western music. The evening was brought to a close with a comedic performance by Amit Tandon, who left the audience in splits with his humor. 

Learn more about Digital Learning Villages at: