The Parag Initiative of the Tata Trusts is driven by a belief in the transformative power of reading, working to ensure that children across India can appreciate and enjoy reading, especially in diverse vernacular languages. Parag’s three-pronged model for sourcing, publishing and disseminating children’s literature has catalysed the children’s literature, reading and literacy ecosystem towards encouraging joyful reading among children and youth.
Parag supports the development of and access to good quality storybooks for children and youth in Indian languages. It also supports school and community libraries so that children have free access to books and an open and vibrant environment that supports reading for pleasure. It offers professional development courses and works with teachers, librarians and facilitators to develop their capacity to engage with children’s literature and create a relationship between books and children. Parag also nurtures the children’s literature sector through awards, professional courses and creating platforms for linking stakeholders.
The Problem Statement:
Children’s Literature (CL) was identified as a key gap area in elementary education during the first Thematic Strategic Plan for the Tata Trust Education portfolio prepared in 2005 by leading sector experts, guiding the selection of key thrust areas of the portfolio. The importance of extensive use of reading material beyond school textbooks, including variety of children’s literature in Indian languages is emphasized in key policy documents such as India’s National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005, which states that it is important for schools to ensure, “availability of resources, including children’s literature in regional languages, to encourage reading and writing, especially among first generation learners, to make various resources beyond textbooks available to children.”
Over the years Parag has attempted to build a reading culture through the following outcomes:
- Parag has supported the development of 811 new books in multiple Indian languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, Gujarati, and non-mainstream languages such as Bhili, Kunkna, Pawri, Mundari, and Santhali, as well as in English. The books are priced affordably and have original, age-appropriate content for children in the 3-16-year-old age group. The titles have a readership of over 10 crore readers.
- It has created new avenues to train young talented authors and illustrators. Through its book development work Parag has nurtured 41 new authors and illustrators. 51 illustrators have been trained through the Riyaaz Academy for Illustrators and alumni have illustrated 76 children’s books.
- Parag has set up 1,074 libraries across 7 states and equipped them with 2.74 lakh books where children read for pleasure.
- 244 library educators have been trained on setting up active children’s libraries and enabling access to good quality books through Parag’s Library Educator’s Course (LEC). The course is offered in Hindi and English and has impacted approximately 2.6 lakh children.
- Parag recognizes and honours significant contribution of authors and illustrators to children’s literature in Indian language(s) through Big Little Book Award. BLBA is in its fifth year and has awarded 8 authors and illustrators from the sector.
Parag Honour List
The Parag Honour List is a curated collection of outstanding books in English and Hindi for children and young adults. This list, published annually, comprises noteworthy books of the year with brief information about each title. It has been created with careful screening and multiple reviews by experts in the children’s literature sector. The list aims to promote access to a comprehensive, curated list of good quality children’s literature that librarians, teachers, parents, and children can refer to and read. With large number of books being published each year, it is hoped that Honour’s list will support the process of curation for users.
Parag New Releases
Parag supports publication of original stories and translations for children across the age group of 3-16 years. The main aim is to provide access to good quality story books for children in Indian languages. A wide range and variety of books have been released through various publishers and we are happy to share an array of new stories for different age groups with you. Click here to view the new releases