The Joy of Staying With the Young
In the world of children’s books, 16 years is a long time, which is how old Pratham Books turned on January 1, 2020. Co-founded and funded by Rohini Nilekani, Pratham Books is a non-profit publisher focused on introducing children to the joy of reading.
Nilekani has written 11 books for Pratham Books so far, out of which five are bundled into a series. She hopes to write the sixth one in the series soon. Nilekani retired as the Chairperson of Pratham Books in 2014. She is happy that the non-profit publishing house has more than taken off and has realised its potential. Also, thanks to its digital platform called ‘Storyweaver’, her books have been translated into dozens of languages globally. With a clear not-for-profit goal, the books have been put in the Creative Commons so she gets no remuneration. But then, she says, “I get immense joy when I hear of children reading and liking my books, which is quite invaluable.” Nilekani has signed a contract with Juggernaut and has the manuscript approved for a new Level 1 English book for children of 3-6 years. Nilekani hopes the book will be out this year. She has clear ground rules for her writing: “You have to be careful not to be overly moralistic.” Tanush, her three-year-old grandson, is inescapably her inspiration today.