Pragathi was started in 2004 by a group of professionals in Austin, Texas. The main focus of the organization was to contribute towards development and help of impoverished population in India.
The founders, most of them coming from India felt the need to give back to the society with their roots. They started with a seed money to get the organization initiated. AID (Association for India Development) helped by various means to get Pragathi started
The First Project
One of the first projects that Pragathi engaged was supporting Odanaadi – a half-way house for women who are rescued from abuse and human trafficking.
Pragathi continues to support this Project to date!
One of the main fund raiser for Pragathi in the beginning was with the Indian fusion band Indian Ocean. These funds were used to provide infrastructure items for government schools. The project started with 5 schools in the Kodihalli village in Kanakapura Taluk and expanded to 25 schools in the Kanakapura Taluk of the Ramanagara district in the state of Karnataka.
Multipurpose Learning Center
Pragathi also supported infrastructure projects in selective locations and projects such as Yelahanka Government school
Pragathi supported with compound, toilets and infrastructure upgrades to a high school in Karpenahalli, in Madhugiri Taluk, in Tumkur District of Karnataka
Akshara – the new Partner!
Akshara foundation, a non-profit organization with a belief that quality education is the undeniable right of every child, had implemented a Kannada learning program in Bangalore and had piloted in numerous schools in Bangalore.
They demonstrated that
Kannada proficiency was a challenge with many kids despite speaking the language
With little interventions, the Kannada learning levels could be improved significantly
This could be scaled up using a structured Remedial Learning Program using Kannada learning Kits
The learning kits are based out of familiar stories and increase in complexity as the students progress in their learning. They are in fact, referred to as story cards (Kathe Cards)
Pilot in Kodihalli
Encouraged by Akshara’s Foundation results, we executed a pilot project for Kannada remediation in Kodihalli Village with support of Rotary Foundation, Akshara Foundation and department of education at Kodihalli covering 21 schools covering 500+ kids.
Gave us a confidence that we could work on this model and scale up.
Based on initial pilot success, Pragathi executed this model in Kanakapura covering more than 400 schools in this taluk.
96% improved from their base levels and 83% kids became proficient to required standards.
In years 2009- 11, Pragathi – Akshara – Rotary scaled up immensely supporting more than 900 plus schools in the Ramanagara, Magadi, and Chennapatna School districts and touching thousands of students
Hubli - Dharwad
Armed with this knowledge, in 2009 to 2011 Pragathi expanded such academic improvement programs in Hubli-Dharwad areas of Karnataka state in India to cover nearly 1,000 schools and more than 10,000 students per year!
The programs between 2012 and present may be classified as Wave 3 with a renewed focus on Math, Kannada and Library combined initiatives.
The main reason we went to Chamarajanagara was that this was a poorly performing district in schools according to ASER survey. This program included Chamrajanagara Town and Taluks of Yalandur and Gundlupete. The project covered approximately 100 schools in these areas every year. The challenges were immense with tribal population and poor educational infrastructure. Pragathi, along with Pratham joined forces to accelerate Kannada remediation, Math learning and library programs. Starting with Chamarajanagara, a new Model was experimented to increase the current teaching capacity by attracting volunteers to “You Teach You Learn” initiative where Teaching Volunteers who teach would further get opportunities to learn additional advanced skills such as spoken English, Basic computer skills and interviewing skills for better employment. The success of this was rolled out in all other programs in this wave
Block Resource Center
Block Resource Center : "You Teach You Learn" concept was initialized.
Kannada and Math Learning Kits
These Kits have been provided to various students to accelerate their learning in Kannada and Math
Bangalore- Mysore Corridor
The program was construed to cover schools in Yelahanka, Ramanagara, Maddur, Mandya, T.Narasipur, Mandya, and Srirangapatna called the Bangalore – Mysore Corridor. The program consisted of covering greater than 12300 kids across hundreds of schools. One of the significant advantage was our ability to scale up due to logistical easiness of reach of the schools in the same highway. This helped in increased capacity of volunteer teachers. The uniqueness of this program also enabled focus on many rural schools which normally gets missed out from other NGO programs. We had a similar positive results with 90% kids improving from their baseline and 67+% kids becoming proficient readers
Tumkur, is a district in close proximity to Bangalore and has a well-developed industrial sector and has a name as a place of higher education institutions. This district still has the same challenges in elementary levels. With this new insight Pragathi took up initiatives across 100 schools along with rotary International. Nearly 7000 kids were reached for Kannada and Math out of which greater than 5000 kids became proficient readers. Further more than 4000 kids became proficient enough to work on 3 digit division. And more than 600 kids are capable of solving word problems