WISE Prize for Education
“I had friends working for women’s liberation. I had friends working for the popularisation of science. I said to them—none of these things you want to do are possible if people cannot read and write.”
— Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder, Pratham
Pratham co-founder Dr. Madhav Chavan was the recipient of the 2012 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Prize for providing quality education to millions of underserved children in India.
Established in 2009 by Qatar Foundation, the international WISE Prize is the first major global prize of its kind to recognise an individual or a team for an outstanding, world-class contribution to education. It aims to raise awareness of and build solutions for the educational challenges faced worldwide.
The 2012 laureate, which was decided by an international jury that included US Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington, President of Peking University Professor Zhou Qifeng, former UN high commissioner Mary Robinson, and Chairman of the WISE Foundation Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, was announced in Doha, Qatar, during an international education summit to promote innovation and improvement in education.
This prestigious accolade reflects Dr. Chavan’s dedication to social justice and his application of years of scientific training to develop systems that revolutionise access to education in the world’s most impoverished regions. The WISE jury singled out Pratham’s work in the slums of Mumbai, noting that the students perform at a higher level than other children in their age group.
Watch an interview with Dr. Chavan below.