Bharti Menghani is a translator and storyteller, who loves creating storybooks in her mother tongue, Sindhi. Bharti aims to help revitalise the language by contributing to literature in Sindhi. As part of the Freedom To Read 2020 campaign, she has created a digital library of 50 storybooks in Sindhi. 

In this email interview, Bharti writes about her love for her mother tongue and the importance of creating children's books in Sindhi.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your interests and your work?

I am an HR professional working in a corporate.

Reading stories has always been my passion. I have grown up reading and discussing stories with my mother, and I feel that stories have shaped my personality as they have always acted as a torchbearer for me, showing me how to face real life issues. I love to read children's stories, motivational books, spiritual stories, folk tales and stories from the Panchtantra.

We would love to learn about your personal relationship with Sindhi - do tell us about it.

Sindhi is my mother tongue. I grew up speaking and reading in Sindhi. As I did my schooling from a school where Sindhi was a compulsory subject, I started writing in Sindhi from grade 4 and simply loved it.

How did you come across StoryWeaver and the Freedom to Read campaign?

In 2016, I did a course in storytelling from a renowned institute. Most of my batchmates were teachers and I came to know about Pratham Books' Storyweaver through them. When I visited the website, I was amazed to see the vast repository of storybooks in a variety of languages and more importantly, created with the noble cause of providing reading material to children as their basic right. I followed StoryWeaver on social media and kept receiving notifications from time to time. Though one such notification, I came to know about International Mother Language Day and the Freedom to Read campaign.

Bharti has translated 50 storybooks into Sindhi on StoryWeaver

Why do you think is it important to have children’s books in Sindhi?

In 1967, Sindhi was added to the constitution, as an official language of the Republic of India. However, like many other regional languages today, Sindhi is facing the danger of becoming extinct.

There are two sets of children in the Sindhi community. One – those who have the means to afford books and other reading material in Sindhi, but do not do so, as their parents want them to learn to read and write in English. For these children, their interaction with the Sindhi language only comes from speaking it at home. The second set comprises those children who speak in Sindhi, but being from an economically weaker background, they are unable to buy Sindhi books for reading. Hence, it is important to have children's books in Sindhi to cater to the needs of both the sections. I feel that Storyweaver is one such platform which fulfills this criteria.

Of the 50 storybooks that you translated, which story would be your favourite and why?

Gully Jo Gazab Jo Pitaro would definitely be my favourite. This book is about an intelligent child who is passionate about helping and solving everybody’s problem instantly, and for this he keep collecting things - which could have gone into the waste - and makes the best use of them to help anyone in need.

What are some of your favourite books from childhood? Is there any memorable reading moment that you would like to share?

My favourite book from childhood is a storybook called “Hansti Duniya”. It is children's book that is published every month by the Nirankari Mission and features stories, poetry, and sections on science facts, quizzes, puzzles, mythology, and so on.

Another favourite from childhood is Chacha Chaudhry and the Panchtantra tales.

What is your favourite word / phrase / quote in Sindhi? 

Here's a poem about my love for my mother tongue:

सिंधी भाषा  प्यारी भाषा,
हर भाषा खां न्यारी भाषा,
प्यार अमड़ि जो जंहिंमें पातुम,
अहिड़े थदड़नि ठारी भाषा,

मिठड़ी ॿोली ऐं लफ़्ज़ मिठा,
आहे भाॻनि  वारी भाषा,
अखरनि में वडी॒ सभिन खां,
सिंधियत जी अवतारी भाषा,

कन्हैया आहूजा,हास्य ,व्यंग्य कवि, बिलासपुर


You can read all the storybooks translated by Bharti Menghani here.

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StoryWeaver wins the mBillionth Awards 2019-2020!

Posted by Remya Padmadas on February 19, 2020

Written by Pallavi Krishnan

We are incredibly proud to share that Pratham Books' StoryWeaver is a winner at the mBillionth Awards South Asia 2019-2020 in the Learning and Education category. 

With the rapid increase in penetration of mobile technology across almost all socio-economic strata around the world, the mobile phone has emerged as the most powerful digital tool for empowerment across the world. This is more so in South Asia, Asia Pacific and other parts of the developing world.

Recognising this phenomenon, in 2010, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) launched the mBillionth Awards South Asia to highlight, recognise, and reward best practices, excellence and innovations in the development and usage of mobile phone applications. With the theme of “Smart Phones to Smart Communities”, the award looks at mobile applications which can create transformative content and services and help engender remarkable and long-term changes in the lives and livelihoods of people, especially the underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged section.

The Learning and Education category recognises the use of mobile applications that empower the education sector and serve the needs of learners to acquire knowledge and skills. The aim is to identify and honour applications that try to transform schools, universities and other educational institutions through interactive, personalised and distributed learning resources; address the learning needs of all, and create active e-Learning communities. 

Suzanne Singh, Chairperson Pratham Books, Himanshu Giri, CEO Pratham Books and Anamika Radhakrishnan, Senior Product Manager, StoryWeaver attended the 10th mBillionth Award Gala 2019 at The Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi on February 1st, 2020. 

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On the occasion of World Read Aloud Day, StoryWeaver is delighted to announce the launch of our delightful set of audio-visual storybooks, Readalongs, in Marathi. 

जागतिक रीड-अलाऊड  दिनाचं निमित्त साधून, रंगतदार मराठी ऑडिओ - व्हिजुअल गोष्टी स्टोरीविव्हरवर सादर करताना आम्हाला आनंद होतो आहे. 

मुलांना वाचनाचा आनंद अधिक चांगल्या प्रकारे कसा देता येईल यासाठी स्टोरीविव्हर शिक्षण क्षेत्रात काम करणाऱ्या व्यक्तींशी नेहमीच जोडून घेते. २०१८ मध्ये आम्ही इंग्रजी आणि हिंदी भाषेत रीडअलॉंग गोष्टी सादर केल्या आणि त्याला शिक्षकांकडून अतिशय उत्तम प्रतिसाद मिळाला. त्यामुळेच प्रोत्साहित होऊन आता आम्ही या संग्रहात ६० मराठी गोष्टींची भर टाकत आहोत.

व्यावसायिक कलाकारांनी सहज शैलीत या गोष्टीचं रंगतदार वाचन केलं आहे. त्याला मजेदार संगीताची जोडही दिलेली आहे त्यामुळे रीडअलॉंग गोष्टी जिवंत होतात. मुलांसाठी ते आनंददायी शिक्षण व्हावं असा यामागचा उद्देश आहे. अशा प्रकारच्या  वाचनात, शब्दाचा उच्चार झाला की तो  लिखित शब्द उजळतो  आणि त्या उच्चाराचं बोट धरून मुलांना तो शब्द निवेदाकाबरोबर वाचणं, त्याचं 'सहवाचन' करणं सोपं जातं. आमच्या अगदी लहान गटातल्या वाचकांना डोळ्यासमोर ठेवून हा रीडअलॉंग संग्रह तयार केलेला आहे. गोष्ट ऐकताना, त्याच्या जोडीला लिखित मजकुरातला  शब्द आणि त्याचा उच्चार असं एकत्रितपणे समोर आल्यानं भाषिक कौशल्य विकसित होण्यासाठी त्याचा चांगला उपयोग होऊ शकतो.

मराठी वाचनाचा आनंद लुटण्यासाठी हा संपूर्ण रीडअलॉंग संग्रह स्टोरीविव्हरवर जरूर बघा आणि ऐका.

लगेच वाचा


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