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February 10, 2009

A Six-Course Cheer for Pratham

by Julia Bainbridge

Last night, some of New York's leading chefs took recipes from their own books to prepare dishes at Tabla's 10th anniversary celebration. Dan Barber poached eggs from his farm, David Chang riffed on his favorite ingredient, pork belly, and Floyd Cardoz, the man behind the restaurant, served up one of his New Indian dishes to benefit non-profit Pratham's Read India program.

Slumdog Millionaire has stirred up some controversy in Mumbai, but the truth is, as Pratham board member Arvind Sanger said last night, the movie does represent what the city's slums are like. And they are large--India is home to one third of the world's poor. Pratham's mission is to ensure that every child there is in school and learning well. Over two million children have already benefited from Pratham's pre-schools, remedial learning programs, and libraries. Now with the Read India program, the organization is attempting to eradicate child illiteracy in India; by 2010, it hopes to teach 60 million children across the country how to read.

Success so far has been astronomical: Twenty one million children have learned to read since the program started just one year ago. Hopefully dinners like Tabla's will double--even triple--that number. 

Further reading:
* Here's how you can donate to Read India
* Make a difference: Resources for caring travelers
* Amazing: Simple ideas done right


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