Asia Society Names Pratham Co-Founder Madhav Chavan 2014 Asia Game Changer

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Dr. Madhav Chavan receiving the Asia Game Changer Award from Asia Society Trustee Lulu Wang. Photo: Ann Billingsley/Asia Society

HOUSTON: Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder of Pratham, was recognized for bringing the gift of literacy to millions of Indians by the Asia Society at the United Nations in New York City on October 16. Chavan has empowered millions of children across India through his organization, whose mission is to have every child in school and learning well. His efforts were recognized by the Asia Society, America’s leading institution dedicated to educating Americans about Asia, when he was bestowed a 2014 Asia Game Changer Award that recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the future of the continent.

“The Asia Game Changer Awards are designed to fill a glaring gap—a lack of recognition of people who are transforming ideas into action and improving lives in Asia,” said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran.

Dr. Chavan has brought scientific rigor and innovation to his life’s mission of providing quality education to underprivileged children. The results are impressive. Pratham’s flagship Read India program, which imparts basic reading and arithmetic skills, has touched the lives of over 34 million children since its inception. Through its unique partnership with local schools and governments and community stakeholders, Pratham is able to make a significant impact through its operations in 20 of India’s 29 states. Dr. Chavan believes local volunteers have enabled Pratham’s success and scale. “I believe in people, and I trust them to do the right thing and the amazing thing is that when you trust people, they don’t let you down. Plus, it gets the job done,” he said.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Asia Society, especially alongside the luminaries this year,” said Dr. Chavan. “More importantly, I hope that this sheds more light on our ongoing pursuit to bring quality education to every child in India.”

In addition to its programs in the areas of early childhood and primary education, Pratham offers vocational skills training and job placement to young adults and educational support to girls and women who have dropped out of school.  It also conducts the Annual Status of Education Report, the largest citizen-led survey of children’s enrollment and learning levels in India.

Learn more about Pratham at and about the Asia Society Game Changer Awards at