Katha is a grassroots Indian non-profit organization that for the last 28 years has been empowering children to become agents of change through quality education, teacher training, and world-class book publishing. Katha works in the slums of New Delhi to ensure that children from underprivileged backgrounds are able to receive the quality of education needed to build a better future for themselves and their families. We have an innovative, proven education model that makes learning a fun, creative experience for children and teachers alike. Katha’s programs have reached over 9, 00,000 underserved children from 423 Municipal Corporation Schools (MCD) and over 600 slum communities across Delhi. Katha has embarked on a major scale up plan to spread its innovative model to reach children across India and abroad.
About This Cause
Katha Lab School, established in 1990 in New Delhi, is Katha’s centre for innovations in education. It offers high-quality education to approximately 1,500 children starting from 3-month olds to age 17 every year olds. Katha Lab School provides crèche, pre-school, primary, secondary and special needs education. The school also offers IT and vocational training to Katha Lab School students, young professionals and women from the local community. The school achieves a 92% attendance rate, despite the fact that some children have to drop out because their families migrate. Moreover, over 96% of Katha’s Class 10th and 12th students pass their board exams, compared to a national average of below 40%. An external assessment shows that the Katha Lab School students perform at par with students from some private schools.
Katha Lab School is based in Govindpuri, one of the oldest and largest slum communities in Delhi. Govindpuri is made up of slum clusters of approximately 2, 00,000 people, many of whom have migrated from rural India in search of livelihood opportunities. Literacy levels are low and the quality of education in local municipal schools is poor. Many households are women-headed and men tend to work as unskilled laborers such as carpenters, roadside labourers, car cleaners, local factory workers and house painters.
• Katha Lab School is the test-bed for Katha’s innovations in education.
• Katha Lab School is also the hub for Katha’s Teacher Training programme.
• There is a demonstrable track record of scaling up innovations developed at the Katha Lab School. Katha has scaled up innovations from the Katha Lab School to a reading campaign in 423 Municipal Corporation Schools (MCD) and over 600 slums in Delhi.
• Increased Income: Katha Lab School’s top graduates earn up to £6,000 per annum compared with a typical annual household income of £360- £700 family in Govindpuri. Katha’s women earn 10 times what their families were earning when Katha started working with this community.
I Love Reading (ILR): The Delhi Government has signed an MOU with Katha to take Katha’s I Love Reading Campaign to 500 municipal schools and 500 slum communities within Delhi. This innovative reading and school transformation program aims to increase the effectiveness of elementary education. ILR is based on Katha’s proven education and teacher training methods that we have developed, tested and refined over the last 28 years. Katha uses its internationally acclaimed storybooks to engage children in reading and to help teachers tackle some of the most pressing issues in India such as poverty and inequality, and to enable sustainable change.
Katha has successfully implemented I Love Reading in 423 Delhi Municipal Corporation Schools and over 600 slum communities since 2010, reaching over 8,00,000 children and over 1500 teachers.
Katha Books: Katha publishes beautifully illustrated storybooks for children in Hindi and English. To date Katha has published 430 children’s titles and has translated texts from 21 Indian languages and 12 foreign languages.
KATHA’S IMPACT FROM 1988 to 2016:
• Reached over 80, 00,000 children throughout India through its books and Tamasha! magazine.
• Trained over 6,000 teachers and 1, 52,000 community women.
• Reached out to 1, 91,190 children through Katha Lab School.
• Published and sold over 17, 00,000 books in Hindi and English. Many have won awards.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
• Katha’s Founder and President, Geeta Dharmarajan, is a recipient of the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors.
• Winner of the Millennium Alliance Award in 2013 (USAID and Government of India) for its innovative I Love Reading Campaign.
• 124 Katha books have been recommended by CBSE and NCERT, two eminent national education bodies.
• Winner of ICICI India Inclusive Award 2012 in the Elementary Education Impact Category.
• North India Winner of the 2009 India NGO Award by the Rockefeller Foundation and Resource Alliance for transparency, accountability and quality work.
• Katha has been nominated five times for the world’s most coveted award in children’s literature – the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.