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Press release December 4, 2009 Fashion

One exquisite bejeweled pendant funds 180 children in India for a year

As we approach 2010, the statistics remain shocking:

  • Of India’s 210 million children aged between 6 and 14, almost half are unable to read
  • Child literacy levels in India remain below the 75% threshold
  • 11 million children live on the streets in India
  •  9.84 million children in India aged 5 - 14 are employed in child labour

Pratham is an international charity initiated by UNICEF that is dedicated to erasing illiteracy and helping under privileged children in India with reading, writing and basic arithmetic.Pratham’s UK arm has collaborated with Jooal, a fine jewellery design boutique based in Mayfair, and a treasured favourite among celebrities and royalty. Together they have created a stunning pendant keepsake to mark a new campaign: “Right to Read”. The campaign supports Pratham in bringing literacy to India and to implement the charity’s mission of “every child in the country is in school and learning well”. Of India’s 210 million children, almost half are unable to read.  Since 2008 Prathamhas brought literacy to 33 million children living in rural areas in approximately 355,000 villages in India – that’s more than half of the population of the UK - and 350,000 children in 43 urban cities. However, there are still more than 80 million who cannot read or write.

The pendants were launched at an intimate, high profile event on Sunday 8th November 2009. The event, at chic hot spot Roka, London, was attended by 150 elite guests includingBianca Jagger, Yasmin Le Bon, Mark Shand, Donna Air, Danielle Lloyd along with Pratham's key donors and partners, high net worth philanthropists, fashionistas and socialites, leaders from the business and financial community in London, preeminent personalities and VIP’s.The order of the evening included cocktails, an informal dinner and an auction, and was generously sponsored by Praefinium, Mphasis, Tanaz DizadjiandRoka.

The auction raised just under £120,000 and items included a personalized, signed Jenson Button racing helmet, Audemars Piguet men’s watch – Royal Oak Timepiece, Men’s Collection, a bespoke trekking experience in Ladakh, India with leading mountaineer Mandip Singh Soin, Rubinacci, Napoli gentleman’s bespoke tailored suit, VIP Manchester United UEFA Champions League package, Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Timepiece, Women’s Collection, a weekend away in Kerala and a private dining experience at award winning Zuma.

Jooal, renowned for their rare and exquisite coloured gemstone designs, has created pendants based on the Sanskrit letters of the alphabet, in keeping with the theme of literacy. The Signature Collection features pendants set in white gold encrusted with diamond and the larger Limited Edition necklaces feature uniquely carved gemstones with white gold and diamond. Proceeds from each pendant in the Signature Collection will fund a program to educate 180 children for an entire year in nine villages, or buy three Pratham libraries that will reach 450 children. One pendant could rescue 30 children from the street, work and exploitative conditions, or provide education, medical care and nutrition to a child from the streets for one year. The innovative collaboration is a self-sustaining initiative with no cost to Pratham, and also marks the first initiative of this kind for the charity.

The pendants have beenlaunched in-store and are available to order. Online purchasing will be available from 1st December 2009, just in time for Christmas.Pendants in the Signature Collection are priced at £390. Pendants from the Limited Edition Collection will vary from £1,500 – £5,000 depending on gemstones used and the amount of diamonds on each piece.

For more information please