Madhav Chavan '83 PhD, a distinguished chemist turned educator, is this year's recipient of the Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award. Chavan has been recognized by The Ohio State University Alumni Association for his exceptional contributions to education and transforming the lives of underprivileged children in his native India.
In 1995 he co-founded the non-profit organization Pratham, aiming to provide high quality, affordable education to children in Mumbai's most underserved areas. Under Chavan's leadership, Pratham has evolved into one of India's largest educational organizations, focusing on imparting foundational reading and math skills to disadvantaged children. The methods pioneered by Pratham have not only catalyzed substantial improvements in India's education landscape but have also been embraced by numerous developing nations globally.
In acknowledgement of his dedication, Chavan was also honored with the prestigious 2012 WISE Prize for Education, recognized as a Nobel Prize equivalent in the field of education. His commitment to empowering marginalized communities through education resonates deeply, and this accolade highlights his influential role in shaping educational paradigms.
Reflecting on his academic journey, Chavan acknowledges his time at Ohio State, where his mentor, Professor Daryle H. Busch, imparted critical lessons in distinguishing facts from assumptions and fostering trust among team members.
Apart from his educational pursuits, Chavan nurtures passions for photography, filmmaking and music. These interests exemplify his multifaceted approach to life and learning.
Shambhavi Singh, director of Ohio State’s India Gateway, praises Chavan's transformative impact, noting that he epitomizes the institution's global mission.
Chavan's tireless dedication, innovative methodologies, and unwavering commitment to education continue to inspire positive change worldwide. His work not only elevates literacy rates but also empowers marginalized children to envision a brighter future, embodying education's potential as a catalyst for profound transformation.
Learn more about Madhav Chavan as well as the 10 other accomplished recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards.