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Literacy for a Billion in India!

by PlanetRead
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!
Literacy for a Billion in India!

Putting Children’s Reading Literacy on a Path to Lifelong Practice and Improvement

PlanetRead’s Same Language Subtitling (SLS) was declared as one of the winners of All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development, a grant competition during an International Literacy Day celebration organized by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), headquartered in Washington, DC.

A total of 32 innovations that will improve child literacy were announced at international literacy day event organized by USAID and its partners World Vision and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The grand challenge had received more than 450 proposals from over 75 countries.    

PlanetRead and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, are championing the SLS innovation that uses TV to solve the problem of mass weak reading skills across India by implementing SLS on every Bollywood film song on TV, in 22 official languages.  They will further explore the possibility of implementing SLS in other countries in Africa and South Asia, or wherever reading skills are weak and music-videos are popular.

SLS is simply the idea of subtitling the lyrics of existing Bollywood film songs on TV, in the same language as they are sung in.  Essentially, it is Karaoke on popular film songs and music videos.  Reading skills are practiced, automatically, subconsciously, and inescapably, as an integral part of staple entertainment already consumed by 650 million TV viewers nationally. SLS is also known to improve program ratings by 10-15%.

PlanetRead and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, have already implemented SLS nationwide, on 10 weekly TV programs of Doordarshan, India’s public service broadcaster.  One weekly program is broadcast in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Punjabi. A Hindi song is shown with the lyrics subtitled in Hindi, Tamil songs with Tamil subtitles, and so on. What you hear is what you read. The subtitles are designed to change the color of every word in perfect timing with the song, thus, reinforcing fragile text-sound associations. 

Independently collected data by Nielsen’s ORG Center for Social Research, found that regular SLS exposure more than doubles the number of functional readers among primary school children. SLS has also become a major contributor to the growth of newspaper circulation.

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We are happy to announce that PlanetRead was covered by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster. 

As part of its statutory mission, DW works independently to present events and developments in Germany and the world and picks up on German and other points of view on important issues.It promotes exchange and understanding between the world's cultures and people. Deutsche Welle also provides access to the German language, the daily life and the mentality of the people. To know more more visit: http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15703993,00.html.

And below is the article on DW's website:  

India: Learning to Read with Bollywood Karaoke
Social entrepreneur Brij Kothari has set up an innovative project to teach Indians how to read and write by simply singing film songs in front of the television.
Kothari's trick is to caption Indian film songs in the same language in which they are sung in an effort to appeal to the 300 million or so Indians who can't read or write. He's capitalizing on the huge popularity of film songs in his country and has set up a company that creates subtitles in various Indian languages.

Watch the documentary made by DW on PlanetRead's work here: http://www.dw.de/dw/episode/0,,15929419,00.html

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Digital Diversity is a series of blog posts from FrontlineSMS about how mobile phones are being used throughout the world to improve, enrich, and empower billions of lives. Ken Banks founder of FrontlineSMS and also a good friend and well wisher helped us post an article about our work on the News Watch section of National Geographic’s website.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“We don’t always need shiny new technology to do amazing things around the world. As this edition of Digital Diversity shows, with some imagination everyday technology can be re-purposed to do extraordinary things. Brij Kothari of Planet Read shares how he got Bollywood to marry karaoke, and how it doubled the number of readers in Indian primary schools.

By Brij Kothari

“My teacher comes to class, writes something on the board, goes to her office and snacks,” explained Kavita, a resident of a slum in Ahmedabad, when I asked her why she couldn’t read despite being in seventh grade. But here’s the irony: she is one of the growing number of so-called ‘literates’ in India. According to the latest Census in 2011, 74% Indians, aged 7 and above, are “literate”. So how many “literates” in India can actually read a simple text?

Read the rest of this article here: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/22/let-a-billion-readers-bloom-how-bollywood-teaches-literacy/

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Dear Friends, 

PlanetRead has been championing Same Language Subtitling (SLS) nationally in close collaboration with IIM Ahmedabad for over a decade now. SLS is simply the idea of subtitling the lyrics of song programming on TV, in the ‘same’ language as the audio.

The lyrics of Hindi songs are subtitled in Hindi, Tamil songs in Tamil, and so on, in every Indian language. If SLS is implemented on every song, in every language, it can deliver regular reading practice to the already 650 million TV viewers in India, as part of their daily staple of entertainment. First conceived at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1996, SLS has since been thoroughly researched, piloted in 10 languages on Doordarshan (DD), and proven to cause inescapable reading among hundreds of millions of viewers. Significantly, SLS is a concept that contributes, both to mass reading skill improvement and the ratings of the TV programmes. Education wins. Broadcaster wins. SLS is cost-effective. On a Hindi program: One US dollar gives weekly 30 minutes of reading practice to 5,000 people for one year!

Today, we're happy to share that PlanetRead has made it to to the Top 100 NGOs of Global Journal. See links below. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information on our progress.Thank you for supporting our Same Language Subtitling (SLS) work for mass literacy in the past. 

Links:

The 2011 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Summit – November 1 – 3, 2011 in Doha, Qatar – explored the theme of “Changing Societies, Changing Education”.

PlanetRead had the good fortune of participating in this summit as Dr. Brij Kothari, Founder & President of PlanetRead was one of the speakers in "Simple Ideas, Big Results". 

WISE aims to transform education by fostering innovation and linking education to global issues and leading fields of development. WISE was created in 2009 by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a non-profit organisation, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. 

For more information, please see the videos and articles with this report. 


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Organization Information

PlanetRead

Location: Pondicherry - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Brij Kothari
Founder and President
Piedmont, CA United States
$3,014 raised of $50,000 goal
 
55 donations
$46,986 to go
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