MUMBAI, India , 19 December 2012 - UNICEF celebrated today with Madhav Chavan,Co-founder and CEO of Pratham Education Foundation,the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Prize for Education recently awarded to him by the Qatar Foundation.
Created to ensure that every child is in school and learning well, the mission to educate children that started from the slums of Mumbai has developed in its 18 years of life into a movement spread across 21 states in the country, reaching out to roughly three million children every year.
During these years, Pratham has succeeded in firmly placing the agenda of education both in the national and global arena. “Who would have believed when we began Pratham together that it would become a force for children throughout India and with chapters in many different countries of the world?” askedRichard Bridle, Director, Division of Human Resources at UNICEF, and former Chief of UNICEF Office for Maharashtra State when Pratham Foundation was established in 1994, who sent a recorded congratulatory message.
Prithviraj Chavan, Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who also congratulated Madhav Chavan via video message,said that the WISE Prize is the highest honour in the field of education and emphasized the important role ofMadhavChavan in making education accessible to the most vulnerable.“He has dedicated his entire life to education and social justice for which the country would ever be so grateful to him”.
Speaking on the occasion TejinderSandhu, Chief of UNICEF Office for Maharashtra State, also congratulated the honouree and the Pratham team and said that MadhavChavan has dedicated a large part of his life to the cause of education in India and made it into a movement.
“WISE award given by wise foundation to a wise man” summed up Sharad Kale, former Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Chairperson Pratham Mumbai Education Initiative.
Madhav Chavan shared the award with his team and praised the collective achievement of the Foundation where each individual has played a role over the years. “I must say that the way Pratham has emerged as a force for children in the country and many other parts of the world is also a recognition of the role that UNICEF is playing to best serve the cause of children,” he concluded.