children reading

Non profit trust Pratham Books has launched DonateABook, a crowdsourcing platform which will let nonprofits and schools raise funding for books in order to provide them to Indian children. It will connect book seekers with people who have books to give away. As of now, there are 30 campaigns on the website, looking to raise between Rs 3,500- Rs 110,000 for multiple cities and towns in India.

The projects have been assigned for underprivileged kids, kids from government schools in villages, immigrant construction workers’ children and more and will seek books across Indian and English languages. Individuals as well as organisations who would like to get books for the children they work with can also start campaigns on the platform. The platform seeks to get 50,000 books for children by this Children’s Day, which falls on 14 November every year.

In order to register, users need to answer questions which include who they are, their organisation status and whether the organisation has 80G certification. Users can then fill in their campaign details and choose the number of books and the languages they want them in. Pratham Books will then send the books to the campaigner.

Pratham Books claims that the campaign is verified in 2-3 working days and that it does not charge users or orgs to use the platform. The average duration of a campaign is 30 days and it asks fundraisers meet their goals by sharing the campaign on social media, stating that it will share the campaigns across social media and other channels as well. In case a campaigner does not meet their goal, they will still be able to get the books for the amount of funds that they have raised.

Once the campaign is over, Pratham Books will send them a list of books it has in stock, which the campaigner will need to choose and confirm from within 10 working days. Post confirmation, the books will reach the campaigner in 30 working days. Other than the usual do’s, campaigners are prohibited from using promotional and copyrighted content, offensive or obscene language, text and images along with false information. Currently, the platform supports only the Indian Rupee for donations.

In August 2013, Google had shortlisted 10 non-profit organisations in India as finalists for its Google Impact Challenge intended to support a technology based social project with an award of Rs 3 crores. Among these was Pratham Books which intended to develop an open source platform to create and translate 20,000 e-books in minimum 25 languages to enable 20 million book reads by 2015.

Bangalore-based Pratham Books publishes cost effective books across Indian languages. It publishes books across genres like fiction, science, history, maths and nature among others. It claims to have published hundreds of original titles, mostly below Rs 35, in 16 languages. The organisation is contactable at: donateabook@prathambooks.org

Also read: 
Pratham Books is “Open” for Publishing – Gautam John

“We Don’t Want Everything For Free, We Just Want Everything” – Gautam John, Pratham Books

Image Credit: Flickr user Archives New Zealand

(Edit: The article previously said 6 campaigns, which has been corrected to 30)