In the vast landscape of storytelling platforms, Pratilipi stands out for its focus on democratising storytelling and amplifying the voices of readers and writers from regional areas.
Hailing from a small village in Rae Bareli, Ranjeet Pratap Singh founded this project. Having grown up in an environment where Hindi was the predominant language, he became acutely aware of the lack of Hindi content available on the internet during his studies in Bhubaneswar. The realisation that access to content should not be determined by language bothered him immensely. Fueled by this passion and motivated by the problem at hand, he set out to create a solution.
Founded in 2015 in Bangalore, Pratilipi proudly claims to be the largest Indian language self-publishing platform, operating in 12 languages, including regional ones such as Odia, Marathi, Urdu, Punjabi, Malayalam, and more. Pratilipi's scope extends beyond self-publishing, as it has also acquired IVM Podcasts, a podcasting company, and The written order, a publishing company. The platform even caters to comics and graphic novels, expanding its reach to various storytelling mediums.
Pratilipi’s vision is to create an ecosystem of products that removes barriers, enabling everyone to share their stories. It provides a platform for women who have already settled themselves in domestic settings, offering them an outlet to express their creative vision, whether they are professionals or hobbyists. Pratilipi allows these writers to publish their books, stories, and essays, reaching millions of readers. The platform not only gives a voice to these individuals but also ensures that it is heard, transcending language, device, format, technology, and geography.
Pratilipi's most eye-catching feature lies in the extensive benefits it offers to writers and publishers. Understanding that its demographic includes individuals already established in domestic settings, Pratilipi goes the extra mile by providing flexible working hours, medical insurance, mental health consultations, paternal leave, and even provisions for food and snacks. By emphasizing a culture of ownership and independence, the platform creates an environment where its members can flourish and thrive.
To illustrate the impact of Pratilipi, consider the story of Theertha Shivu, an author and housewife who recently gained recognition for her transformation from homemaker to writer. Initially, her husband complained about her constant attachment to her phone while writing. However, his perspective changed when her writing started generating income. Now, he even assists her with household chores. Shivu's leadership and success as an author is a testament to Pratilipi's influence. Among Pratilipi's 9.5 lakh writers spanning 12 languages, approximately 70% are women, and the top writers predominantly comprise housewives, followed by teachers, self-employed professionals, and IT employees.
The name 'Pratilipi' roughly translates to 'copy', which aligns with the company's core purpose of sharing people's stories in various formats, languages, and geographies. These copies are made and translated to fulfill Pratilipi's original mission.
Pratilipi's commitment to democratising storytelling and empowering individuals to share their narratives has revolutionised the landscape of Indian language literature. With a platform that transcends barriers, Pratilipi has taken the responsibility of providing a voice to those who lack a platform to the next level.
You can learn more about Pratilipi here.
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