Pearson, Pratham Books ink deal to carry story books to villages

October 26th, 2010 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Publishing giant Pearson Education (Pearson Longman) has inked a memorandum of understanding with Pratham Books, a non-profit platform, to promote reading among marginalised children in the villages and small towns of India.

The agreement will help underprivileged children in the country access quality story books.

Announcing the agreement Tuesday, Vivek Govil, chief operating officer and president of Pearson Education-India (the Indian arm of Pearson), and Rohini Nilekani, the founder-chairperson said Pearson will keep aside an amount of 50 paise from the sale of every school title in India to help Pratham buy story books for children.

However, the clause will not be “applicable to titles published by Pearson for different state boards or special deals”, the memorandum said.

Set up in 2004, Pratham publishes quality books for children in multiple Indian languages at subsidised prices.

It has published titles priced below Rs.25 in 11 Indian languages and has helped more than 12 million children across 18 states in the country read both fiction and non-fiction books through a network of government agencies, rural libraries, non-profit organisations and the UNICEF.

Founder-chairperson Rohini Nilekani describes the mission of the organisation as “to see a book in every child’s hand”.

Pearson has helped educate 100 million people worldwide. In India, it specialises in the publication of academic and reference books in the school segment.

The company also designs instruction tools for teachers.

The books selected by Pratham under the project will bear the sticker, “the book bought and distributed by Pearson as part of their efforts to promote reading in India”.

“Our goal is to create as many partnerships as possible to reach as many children as possible with as many books as possible. Our collaboration with Pearson is a new milestone in the journey towards a book in every child’s hand. We are happy that
Pearson has integrated its social and business commitment in this wonderful way,” Rohini Nilekani of Pratham Books said.

“We are trying in various and innovative ways to spread the joy of reading books and at the same time reducing prices of books without compromising on accessibility and quality,” Nilekani said.

Govil said his company was committed to “promoting education in every way”.

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