Friday, August 3, 2012

why reading the mother tongue is important

As part of Esha, we do a lot of Read Fests at schools, colleges and offices.
And increasingly, i have become aware of a seemingly small problem with huge implications.

A lot of volunteers cannot read, or fluently speak, any Indian language. Even their mother tongues.

And the reason why this is disturbing is this:
CLABIL is a way to bridge the literacy divide too. Access to English should not restrict access to knowledge resources.

The whole idea ot CLABIL is to create audio resources in Indian languages so that people(especially, the blind)  who do not have access to English education (Read: a vast majority of our population) do not lose access to knowledge. This is a form of democratisation of knowledge.

But when the generators of this content do not know Indian languages at all, we are faced with a vernacular illiteracy that makes it impossible for one set of people to communicate with the other set of people.

And then, the unique problem that we at Esha are faced with is this: People want to create content, but they cannot contribute in Indian languages. The beneficiaries want to use content, but English content is not the easiest for them to use.

What do you think we can do to solve this?

No comments: