After reading the second line of the title of the book, I wondered about the meaning of Sankhya Praveen. Is Prakalpa so well acquainted with numerals and numeric functions that she was conferred with this title? But as soon as you read the story, the mystery unfolds. The story isn’t about Prakalpa, but about the initiative she has led; Social Caps, a company that extensively deals with quantitative data analysis. Now, the adjective Sankhya Praveen seems somewhat out of place.
This book explains how Prakalpa’s company works and collects data at the ground level through different tools. It explores the how and why of government processes like the selection of beneficiaries from data sourced at the community level, analysis of the number of children who fell ill after eating mid-day meals at school, and so on. The book is divided in two parts. The first part explains Prakalpa’s interest in numbers and figures and the second part narrates the story of transforming this interest into a company. I feel interest and expertise are two different things and should not be confused with each other. But this confusion is evident in the title.
The Hindi translation of this book could have been better. At some places the sentence structure is complex, thus affecting the flow of the story, making it difficult to understand what is intended to be conveyed. The title and cover page create an impression that it’s an illustrated biography, but the text reveals that it’s an information book.
There are finely detailed descriptions in the pictures portraying social diversity but even here, the nuances are missing in some places, for example, in the facial expressions.
For children who are fluent in reading, this book will be more meaningful only when they are given some space to think. At present, the book offers no such scope.
Deepali Shukla loves reading, especially children’s books. An enthusiastic photographer and storyteller, she is associated with the publication programme of Eklavya Foundation for more than ten years.