Download, print, read 800 children's stories for free

Download, print, read 800 children's stories for free

Eight hundred children’s stories in 24 languages, all free to download, print, circulate and made accessible to thousands of young ones.

Leveraging the power of the Internet and its own open source digital platform, Pratham Books has launched the StoryWeaver (www.storyweaver.org.in) featuring the stories. The launch coincides with International Literacy Day.

But StoryWeaver, which also features over 2,000 openly licensed images and illustrations, goes beyond story-reading. The idea is to encourage collaboration between content creators and users of children’s content. The stories can be read, downloaded, translated, versioned or printed using the tools embedded on the platform.

New stories could be created and published. All the content on StoryWeaver is available under Creative Commons licences to encourage collaboration and reuse. The platform can be accessed on any digital device, including mobile phones. The stories are available in 14 Indian and 12 international languages.

Authors, translators, illustrators and educators will be part of this unique collaborative platform. Here’s the Pratham Books rationale: “We believe that by bringing together all the stakeholders and openly licensing our content, we are creating a participatory culture that will catalyse the creation of more content. We hope that this will create a multiplier effect to address the scarcity of multilingual reading resources that exists in
India.”

Pratham Books chairperson Suzanne Singh elaborated that anyone could download the books by attributing only the original source to ‘Pratham Books.’ “People can print them and distribute them. We are hoping that they do. Since 2008, our open licensing source method has had a tremendous multiplier effect with people even creating YouTube videos and Braille books. Now, with the launch of our digital platform, it becomes even easier.”
The ultimate objective is this: Every child should have equitable access to good quality reading material in his / her own language. As Singh explained, “This is critical if we are to nurture a generation of better readers who will become better learners and better future citizens of India.”

‘Weave-a-Story’ campaign
Children’s authors Anushka Ravishankar, Soumya Rajendran, Rohini Nilekani and Rukmini Banerjee will pen special stories under a ‘Weave-a-Story’ campaign coinciding with the StoryWeaver launch. The digital platform will then invite the community to translate the stories. Anushka’s “Its All the Cat’s Fault” is the launch story, a demonstration of the power of the digital platform.

The idea has already triggered big interest among other authors. One of them, based in Delhi, Subhadra Sengupta had this to say: “For me as a writer what is important is reaching many, many children and the joy of children, living in places I have never even heard of, reading my books. An open platform is the perfect way to do so.”

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