Nominated Literacy Heroes

Individual Nominations

Nilesh Nimkar

Recommended By : Manoj Karyekar, Rotary Club of Pune NIBM
Name : Nilesh Nimkar

Address : 231, Vadavali Road, At & Post Sonale, Taluka Wada, Dist. Palghar Pin - 421303


Place : Sonale

City : Sonale

Sex : male

Date of Birth : 14/11/1970

Mobile : 9325672100

Email :

Educational Qualification : Graduation in German Language, KDS University Munich

Work in field of literacy : Nilesh Nimkar has 2 decades of experience in elementary education. He began his work in rural education in the tribal district of Palghar. He developed contextual & age-appropriate programs to teach early reading-writing. These programs are institutionalized through QUEST, founded in 2007. He conceptualized and co-authored ‘Maze Pustak’ for teaching Marathi reading-writing for Std 1-2 and ‘Saksham Banuya’ for remedial Marathi course for Std 6-8. He worked on pictorial tri-lingual books for tribal children in Nadurbar district; with text in Marathi, English and local tribal languages. He designed a test battery for a research project ‘Literacy Research in Indian Languages’, to understand how children acquire literacy in Indian languages. Lately, he has focused on teacher training and developed blended modules (web & face-to-face) on language & math pedagogy. In the last 10 years, his work has reached out to over 20,000 children & 1000 teachers in rural & tribal areas of Maharashtra.

No of Beneficiaries : 21000

Social Impact : Nilesh Nimkar has been engaged with the process of language pedagogy and early literacy for 2 decades. With his research, Nilesh institutionalized new academic principles that considered early literacy as an accessible tool for every child, provided the teacher knows its correct rubric as part of classroom practices. He has imparted this rubric to thousands of language teachers who are applying it in their classrooms in diverse geographical and socioeconomic settings in Maharashtra. He brought an early literacy wave that gave children from ‘have nots’ community an equal opportunity to ride the educational boat. His fundamental contribution to the research on ‘how children acquire Indian languages’ will set a precedent to understand Indian language pedagogy better and would certainly impact language teaching in the years to come. In a way, Nilesh’s work has a component of social justice embedded in it that tries to correct the literacy imbalance in our stratified educational structure.

Fund Outlay : 2,37,70,360/-

The challenge of arranging funds is being met : Though funding agencies are generous to the education sector, early literacy field (especially in rural areas) has always struggled to garner funding due to lack of advocacy. It is the individual credibility of educationists like Nilesh Nimkar that has helped the still fledgling sector. The academic rigour of Nilesh Nimkar’s work was visible to funders looking for in-depth field work and research in the early literacy sector. These few funders were convinced about Nilesh Nimkar’s capability to pioneer innovative programmes and design material for early literacy enhancement of disadvantaged children. This educational commitment has brought a steady flow of funds from organizations such as Tata Trusts, UNICEF and Read Alliance over the years for Quality Education Support Trust (QUEST). The Tribal Development Department of Maharashtra Govt. has supported one of the projects since last year. A few individuals and private foundations have also supported short-term projects and initiatives. The work has grown manifold in 10 years, and it is mainly Nilesh’s credibility which brings big and small funders to QUEST.

This Award is going to impact the work in future : The award would be an acknowledgment of Nilesh Nimkar’s tireless efforts to promote literacy and quality education. Recognition by a renowned organization like Rotary would make others take notice of his work, which is the need of the hour. Despite being one of the foremost authorities on early literacy in India, Nilesh Nimkar’s contribution has not been documented or recognized widely. In a vast country like India with millions of children still trapped in the silos of non performing classrooms, we require multiple prototypes of Nilesh Nimkar’s literacy work. The award would familiarize people, policy makers, educationists and media with his work. More than a personal achievement it would create a much needed awareness of the issues, ideas and challenges in early literacy, especially in Indian languages. The award may also attract more brilliant minds to contribute for early literacy and give it the prominence it deserves in the academic world and public consciousness.

Blood relative a member of 'Rotary Club': No

Whether received any major State/National/International recognitions or award/s earlier : No

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