Unicef Surveys & Exploratory activities

UNICEF commissioned a ‘Rapid Appraisal of the Status of Basic Education’ study for Mumbai. It documented perceptions of parents,teachers & citizens about various factors responsible for drop-outs, irregular attendance and non-enrolment. This laid the basic ground work for the formation of Pratham Mumbai Education Initiative.


School Surveys

When the need for substantive data arose, a survey of the status of schools was conducted. We had an opportunity to reach every school city-wide and make our initial forays in the community. This helped us to win the confidence of key officers.

January 1994

The Vasantik Varga

Pre-cursor to the Pratham Balwadi programme, the Vasantik Vargas were month-long school readiness programmes to prepare the children before they started attending schools. This was done in collaboration with College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan & the Municipal Co-operation schools.

April/May 1994

The Pratham Balwadi

One of Pratham’s oldest programmes - Pratham Balwadi - was established to address the issues of pre-school education in collaboration with societal & political organisations.
● Pratham’s reach grew as we had almost 3500 balwadi’s across Mumbai by 1999.
● The Balwadi Health Programme was an incredible value addition to the Balwadi programme and was introduced across all the 3000 + balwadi’s operated by Pratham in Mumbai.

July 1994


Pratham Mumbai Education Initiative was formally established as a Public Charitable Trust in order to achieve universal primary education in Mumbai, with the goal of universalisation of primary & pre-primary education in Mumbai by the year 2000.

December 1994

Shatak Zhep (A leap of a century) & Study Class Programme

The Shatak Zhep was a seven week programme that concentrated on teaching Mathematics in municipal schools, in collaborations with the Education Officer & his team. This programme made way for the Study Class programme, which targeted the children in primary school who were lagging behind academically. These were remedial lectures for 2 hours each day, from November to March. The methods used to impart teaching were the same play-way methods of Shatak Zhep, and helped the children to learn much faster.

May 1996

The Prerak Programme & Bridge class programme

The Prerak programme was the first attempt of Pratham to reach out to the children who had dropped out of school, in collaboration with students of College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan. The Prerak programme helped Pratham to identify the need for a substantive database of the out-of-school children. It helped us to lay foundation for our continuing work with out-of-school children through the Bridge Class programme. Thus, in 1998 Pratham began to work with out-of-school children in P South ward & K East Ward, which was the beginning of a very successful campaign to re-enrol the children in school.


Computer Assisted Learning

Our first tryst with E-learning was the introduction of computers to a few programs in March 1998. ICICI Ltd. donated about 112 used computers to be set up in 11 municipal schools, one in each of the wards. A new dimension of intervention, the CAL programme helped us reach about 14,000 municipal school children between August 1998 - January 1999.


Balsakhi Programme

The Balsakhi programme was a combination of the Prerak programme (targeted at drop-outs) & the Remedial class programme, aiming to target the students whose classes may have been disrupted during the school year. The primary objective of the Balsakhi was to keep the students engaged when the teacher of the class was absent. The demand for balsakhi’s was in schools that were understaffed or overcrowded.

December 1998

Near Universalisation of Pre-school Education & Enrolment of 10000 children in school

Through a strong network of 3000 balwadi’s & pre-school community centres spread across Mumbai that interacted with 55,000 children, Pratham achieved its goal of near-universalisation of pre-primary education

Landmark Year 2000:

Establishment of Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC)

Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC) started in Mumbai in 2001 as Pratham’s Outreach Program in order access to the most vulnerable and deprived children in disadvantaged communities in Mumbai with the mission of “Every Child’s Rights Protected, Every Child in School and Learning Well.”


Early Child Care Resources Centres were established & Pratham received NIOS accreditation

Providing direct intervention to each zone, our ECE centres were established in each zone. Young women from the community were trained to teach in Balwadi’s and also encouraged to start their own pre-schools.


45,000 rescued with close coordination of Government of Maharashtra from Child labour

PCVC rescued 45,000 children from child labour in close coordination & collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra. Majority of these children were from the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and some from Rajasthan and Gujarat. The children were later repatriated to their respective villages.


PCVC opens first Residential Center

Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children makes another landmark as it opened its first Residential Center. The center was opened as a comprehensive rehabilitation model for the rescued children.


Launch of Read Mumbai

Community based-interventions were flagged off during Read Mumbai, based on the lines of Read India.


School drop-outs census: Number falls to a mere 11,000

Due to advocacy programs, PCVC & extensive collaboration with the M.C.G.M the total number of children out-of-school stands only at 11,000. In this year, Pratham also scaled up the Urban Programme to 14 new cities in India..


PCVC launches help-desk model providing platform for grievance redressal


Pratham completes 20 years with the recently concluded Lakhon Mein Ek campaign

Lakhon mein Ek was a call-to-action campaign by Pratham and ASER Centre. In the initial phase 100,000 Village Volunteers were mobilized to take responsibility for action in their villages. These village volunteers assessed children in their villages. These village volunteers assessed children in their villages with the help of others in the community


Change of the Library Model to Volunteer Based in order to ensure sustainable learning communities.

Launch of Pratham Digital (PraDigi) in September, 2017