Pratham Books – who are they?

Before we get into the details of Pratham Book’s One Day One Story 2019 Edition, it’s only fitting to first talk about Pratham Books!

Pratham Books - StoryWeaver

Founded in 2004, Pratham Books is an NGO with a mission. The mission is to put a book in every child’s hand. Whereas this may have been simpler to accomplish in Iceland, a country of only 350,000 people (also everybody reads in Iceland), to put a book in the hands of every indian child is nowhere as simple.

As we know, India is not Iceland. Its challenges are quite different, not to mention its population size. We have over a billion people, including around 200,000,000 children under the age of 10 alone!

Over the last 15 years since its inception, Pratham Books has done a few things extremely well, and blazed a trail for others to follow. A few of their notable achievements include-

  1. Successfully raised money to fund their ambitious goal, including from Google, Oracle, Cisco and partnering with many more organisations.
  2. Published storybooks across multiple and varied themes, catering to the myriad readers of all ages in our country.
  3. Printed and sold books at ridiculously low prices. In the process, they have filled in for NBT and CBT, who aren’t as active now, as before.
  4. Maintained amazingly high quality with titles like Ammachi’s Amazing Machines, Angry Akku, and Nani’s Walk to the Park. Many titles from Pratham Books also feature on the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) Awards list.
  5. Their storybooks are available for free on Pratham Books’ online platform Storyweaver, which recently turned four! Happy birthday, Storyweaver. With over 15,000 stories in 205 languages, Storyweaver makes reading truly accessible.

Pratham Books runs the One Day One Story Campaign on World Literacy Day.

Since 2012, Pratham Books’ One Day One Story Campaign asks volunteers (champions) across India to read out the same story, on the same day.
From 250 champions in 2012, the campaign has grown steadily to include 5700 champions in 2018. 


The two stories chosen for 2019 were-

1. The Weightlifting Princess by Sowmya Rajendran and Debasmita Dasgupta
2. Gappu Can’t Dance by Menaka Raman and Krishna Chandran

As usual, the BLPS team participated extensively. If you know us, you know we love championing the cause o f children’s stroybooks, in any way possible. At fREADOm, we run a reading program, a publishing house, and a kid-lit award program. For #OneDayOneStory2019, we told stories in 5 venues. The most creative we got was by telling The Weightlifting Princess inside a gym!

Pratham Books is expected to report anywhere between 6700 and 7000 volunteers in 2019. Yet we feel that it still isn’t good enough. As a community, we really need to rally behind this hashtag. We’re really rooting for 10000 volunteers in 2020!

But, until that happens, let’s celebrate 2019. Just for you, we’ve put together a giant list of OneDayOneStory2019 events that we spotted on the internet. Are you in it? Drop a comment and say hi! Did we leave you out? Let us know and we’ll fix it.

1. Lightroom Bookstore, Bangalore

The author of Gappu Can’t Dance, Menaka Raman turned into a #PBchamp, at the Lightroom Book Store in Bangalore. She’s the author of one of the 2 chosen books, so that makes her number 1 on our list!

2. Buguri Library, Bengaluru

Menaka also told the story at the Buguri library, a safe space for kids of rag-pickers.

Read about the great work Buguri Library does for kids in this article.

3. Your Story Bag

The storytellers at Your Story Bag reached out to a large number of people, covering regions of Delhi/NCR, Noida, Gurgaon, Meerut, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kolhapur and Navasari. 

One of the YSB storytellers creatively merged the two stories in her storytelling session and made it even more fun!

Watch the session here-

4. PenThrill Publication House, Nagaland

On International Literacy Day, kids and adults gathered at the newly established PenThrill Publishing House to read out the two stories.
Watch the session here-

5. Strength System, Chennai

The Strength System fitness centre hosted an open-house storytelling session of The Weightlifting Princess. Inspired by the story of Princess Nila, the tiny tots ran to lift a 15kg dumbbell at the end of the session!

6. Big Buddy World, Mumbai

The team at Big Buddy World have been Pratham champions since 2014. This year, they told the stories at various venues in Mumbai.

7. Azad India Foundation, Kishanganj

The foundation is a well-recognised NGO located in Bihar. The team at AIF made #OneDayOneStory fun through kids doing a role-play, learning to dance with Gappu.

The storytelling sessions were conducted in their native language, reaching out to all the locals.

Watch the session here-

8. Spark-A-Change Foundation, Mumbai (SAC)

The members of the Mumbai-based non-profit organisation Spark-A-Change Foundation, Mumbai held some interesting storytelling sessions at different locations across Mumbai.

9. Khel Khel Mein, Mumbai

The Khel Khel Mein team conducted 19 storytelling sessions across India at each of its centres. A total of 29 teachers became #PBchamps and told the story of The Weightlifting Princess to 800+ children.

10. Helen O’Grady International Studio, Chennai

The EduDrama Academy in Chennai took up the task of storytelling too. Many parents along with their children turned up to listen to the storytelling of The Weightlifting Princess and to see what happens when Gappu Can’t Dance.

11. Kalpavriksh and RAAH

The Pune-based environmental non-profit Kalpavriksh along with RAAH (established under the charge of The Raahat Foundation), got together to host the storytelling of The Weightlifting Princess and Gappu Can’t Dance in Pune. The session was conducted by storyteller Jahnvi Sreedhar.

12. Titliyan and AA’s Book Nerds, Noida

Titliyan (an NGO founded by Anita Gurnani) and AA’s Book Nerds (a book-club run by Archana Atri) collaborated together to bring the stories of Princess Nila and Gappu to the children of Noida on the occasion of Pratham’s #OneDayOneStory.

The children made their own props and shared other stories as well. You can follow the book club’s facebook page for updates.

13. Nurture Roots, Greater Noida

Nurture Roots is an initiative of two mothers to facilitate the growth of children. 

In association with Jamboree – The Preschool Safari, they told the two stories of Princess Nila and Gappu on International Literacy Day.

14. Book Lovers’ Program for Schools (BLPS)

The storytellers at BLPS conducted a number of sessions across Chennai at 4 different schools and earned the title of #PBchamps again this year.

15. Little Readers’ Nook

Little Readers’ Nook, founded by Mumbai-based Devaki Bhujang Gajare, partnered with Udaan Montessori Preschool at Thane to be a part of Pratham’s One Day One Story event.

16. Hangout Library, Bengaluru

At the Hangout Library, Bengaluru, founder Aanchal Agrawal conducted a session with activities for kids at the library. 

17. The Story Monkey

Aashima Mishra, the founder-director of The Story Monkey, participated in Pratham’s One Day One Story and celebrated the International Literacy Day with the two chosen stories.

18. Kahani Tree

Kahani Tree, the children’s bookstore based in Mumbai, also celebrated the event.

19. GetLitt

The GetLitt digital library app was a part of the revolution by doing an online story reading session of the two stories for Pratham’s #OneDayOneStory event.

20. The Book Shelf, Hyderabad

The Book Shelf Library, Hyderabad was part the campaign. Their resident storytellers along with Lavanya Srinivas of Katha Kamamishu told the stories of Gappu and Princess Nila to the kids.

21. Willows of Wisdom (WOW), Noida

The WOW team celebrated International Literacy Day by rising up to the challenge and signing up as #PBchamps.

22. Odyssey Book Store, Chennai

The Odyssey Book Stores at Adyar and Thiruvanmiyur partnered with Katha Kamamishu for Pratham’s One Day One Story for storytelling sessions on 8th September.

23. AIM for Seva

The pan-Indian, non-profit AIM for Seva trust participated in Pratham’s reading revolution, telling stories at one of their Chennai Chatralayams.

24. The Reading Owl, Jaipur

The Reading Owl, Jaipur, a Jaipur-based storytelling organisation did multiple storytelling sessions as part of Pratham’s campaign.

25. Booktique Library, Ghaziabad

Booktique Library and activity club in NCR region was a champion for Pratham’s 2019 #OneDayOneStory campaign too.

26. Nest And Den Library, Vadodara

Nest And Den Library became #PBchamps, telling the stories to the kids at their little library.

27. The Learning Tree Preschool, Ahmedabad

The Learning Tree Preschool at Chandkheda also held a storytelling session in association with Pratham on World Literacy Day.

28. The Learning Kids Preschool, Ahmedabad

The Learning Kids Preschool became #PBchamps by signing up and doing a storytelling session on 8th September at Navavadaj.

29. Happy Kids International Preschool, Ahmedabad

The school registered for Pratham’s One Day One Story and held a session at Jantanagar.

30. Parivartan, Bihar

Parivartan integrated rural community development initiative in Siwan, Bihar, organised a fun-filled storytelling campaign in 20 different primary and middle schools. The Hindi version of The Weighlifting Princess, Rajkumari Neela, was told to the students along with different activities like painting, drama, reading and singing action songs.

31. Happy Children’s library, Uttarakhand

Happy Children’s Library is a community library in Seem, Uttarakhand which conducted readings of both Gappu Can’t Dance and The Weightlifting Princess.

Individual storytellers also rose to the occasion and conducted storytelling sessions!

32. Saumya Goel (@saumyagoel84) did a storytelling of Gappu Naach Nahi Sakti.

33. Kokila Gupta (@sunshinebluegirl) told The Weightlifting Princess.

34. Sujata Suri (@sujata.suri), a member of DEEP Foundation, took Gappu’s story to a few kids at New Delhi.

35. Nikita Arora Kashyap (@bb_beyondboundaries) who runs the Beyond Boundaries program conducted a storytelling session at The Miracle Minds in Delhi.

36. Bhavna Bhat (@bhavna.silverfish) along with Richa (@lighttravelaction), the mastermind behind Light Travel Action, conducted storytelling sessions for kids at Gurgaon.

37. Shefali Malhotra (@shefmalh), who began her storytelling journey in 2015 as a part of Pratham’s One Day One Story campaign, became a #PBchamp this year too by telling Gappu’s story in Delhi.

38. @fireflieslightup and @thewordelephant.

39. Neha Mehta Modi (@bookhoarder_neha) enacted the story of Gappu Can’t Dance with the kids at Mumbai.

40. Vidya JS Nesarikar (@sodapop_stories) told the stories of The Weightlifting Princess and Gappu Can’t Dance at Amanora.

41. Sonali Sathaye and Vijaya Balasubramaniam told the stories to the crowd assembled at Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake, Bangalore.

42. Deepika Arun did a session at the Jhoola Activity Centre in Chennai.

43. Leonard Fernandes, co-founder of the Publishing Next Conference, conducted a storytelling session at The Dogears Bookshop in Margao (Goa).

44. Jayalakshmi told the story of Princess Nila in Madurai.

45. Alma Dhingra (@almastorytime), the storyteller at Storytime told the stories in Delhi.

46. Myth Aunty (@mythaunty) who has a passion for storytelling, did a session for her kids at the school she works with. (Also, if you know her actual name, do tell us!)

More sessions on their way…

47. Stomp: The Drama Club, Goregaon – This performing arts club will be telling stories of Princess Nila and Gappu on 14th September. Don’t miss out, check the details here.

48. Aryah (@aryahinspires) conducts storytelling sessions throughout September, as a part of Pratham’s #OneDayOneStory, at schools in Delhi/NCR to reach out to as many kids as possible. You can still request a complimentary session and be part of the campaign!

49. Parvathy Easwaram is conducting a session on 14th September at HSR Layout in Bangalore. You can contact her at

Also: Read more about One Day One Story, on the Pratham Book’s Blog!

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