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Dr. Madhav Chavan is co-founder and CE-President of Pratham, an organisation that reaches 3 million primary school age children in India every year.

He acquired a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Ohio State University in the US in 1983 and returned to India in 1986 after his post-doctoral work at the University of Houston. In 1989, while teaching at the University of Mumbai, he started mass scale work for adult literacy in the slums of Mumbai as a part of the National Literacy Mission in the slums of Mumbai. In 1994, as a result of an initiative of UNICEF in Mumbai, Pratham was setup to address problems of universal primary education in Mumbai. Dr.Chavan has since then led the development of the organisation and its programs. Pratham has several mass-scale innovations such as the Annual Status of Education Report in the area of assessment and the Read India movement in the delivery of education for the underprivileged to its credit.

Pratham has been recognised by the Kravis Prize and the Skoll Award for its innovativeness and leadership as a social entrepreneurial organisation in the area of education.