2010 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership Awarded to Pratham, India’s Largest Nonprofit Devoted to Educational Gains

Claremont McKenna College announces today that Pratham, India’s largest nonprofit organization focused on education, is the fifth recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. The Kravis Prize, which carries a $250,000 award designated to the recipient organization, recognizes extraordinary leadership in the nonprofit sector. Pratham will be recognized at award ceremonies in New York City and at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum in March.

“Pratham embodies the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit that Claremont McKenna College imparts to its students each year,” said Henry Kravis ’67. “Pratham’s work is making a difference in the lives of millions of children. Their approach to improving educational quality is targeted, cost-effective, and sustainable.”

“We are honored to be selected for this prestigious award, said Dr. Madhav Chavan, Pratham’s Co-founder and C.E.O. “I know that there are many worthy organizations in the world that are accomplishing extraordinary things, and Pratham is grateful to have been selected from such a distinguished group.”

Founded in 1994 with the mission of “Every child in school and learning well,” Pratham strives to improve the quality of education for India’s most vulnerable children. Read India, Pratham’s flagship program, works with governments and communities to improve the reading, writing, and basic arithmetic skills of children ages 6-14. This catalytic program, which relies on community participation and is initiated by thousands of volunteers, has reached approximately 34 million children to date, resulting in large-scale improvements in literacy levels across several states in India.

Pratham’s additional programs include preschools and libraries; training of teachers, volunteers, and government officials; rehabilitation and education of vulnerable and working children; early childhood care and education; and computer and English literacy. These programs reach over one million children each year. Pratham Books develops and publishes low-cost books in 11 Indian languages. In addition to these programs, Pratham implements and oversees the largest evaluation study of children’s learning levels in India and publishes the results in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which is used widely by governments, education policymakers, academics, and other nonprofits.

“Every child has the right to learn to read,” said Dr. Chavan. “One of the great joys of our work is seeing children read their first words and open their eyes to the power of words. We believe in the power of literacy to transform lives.”

The Kravis Prize, established in 2006 by Marie-Jos?e and Henry Kravis ’67, recognizes and celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and bold, visionary leadership in the nonprofit sector. The Kravis Prize is presented and administered by Claremont McKenna College and Mr. and Mrs. Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Kravis ’67, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is a trustee of CMC. The Prize is also affiliated with The Kravis Leadership Institute, one of the College’s 10 distinguished research institutes.

Past recipients of The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership are: Roy Prosterman, the inaugural recipient (2006), founder of the Rural Development Institute; Fazle Abed (2007), founder of BRAC; the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) (2008); and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (2009), founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning.

Additional information, photos, and videos about Pratham’s work are available at www.pratham.org/.