Volume - 2 : Issue - 2

Published : April - June 2003

Group : Language


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Ms. Asha Chand – the person behind CD_ROM, “Let’s Learn Sindhi”, a project sponsored by ‘SINDHI SANGAT’, Dubai and INSTITUTE OF SINDHOLOGY, Adipur.

– The Story in her own words – as told to - Arun Babani

It all started in April 2000, at the International Sindhi Sammelan held in Indore. I met Dr. Satish Rohra there and spoke to him about bringing out the ‘Learn Sindhi’ CD. He showed keen interest in the idea and affirmed that in fact it should be he, with the Institute of Sindhology who should be doing this project. Anyway, he ventured to help me in every possible way and showed me about a dozen lessons that he had prepared on this subject. After getting an O.K. from Dr. Rohra, I saw some similar CD’s for learning different languages. For instance I came across the CD-ROM “Learn Arabic”. Taking inspiration and insights from what was already available in the market, we started the project. Dr. Rohra suggested I involve Dr. Vimi Sadarangani to which I agreed. As a technical coordinator we enjoyed the services of Mr. Devendra Dudwani who is the director of Tolani College in Adipur. We needed someone who was highly computer literate as all the others involved in the project were not so much technically trained.

I wanted to get on with the project as fast as possible, as initially we had something like two months in mind to complete the project. Untimely delays happened, which also affected the budget and finally we could deliver our baby 11 months later which Dr.  Moti Prakash suggested we call “Lets Learn Sindhi”. In this project everybody has been paid. We have been able to cover the cost of making this CD by approaching Sindhi NRI’s. We wanted atleast one person form every region to have and hold sponsorship to this project. We have a total of 16 sponsors virtually form every part of the world, where there is significant Sindhi population. We charged USD 1000 from every sponsor and have handed over 100 CDs each to them. Thus the cost works out to be USD 10/CD. Here in India we are selling it at Rs 200/250 and they can be purchased from Sita Sindhu Bhawan, Mumbai, or Institute of Sindhology, Adipur. The same can be ordered on the internet. Marketing these CDs is a big question, as all the other Sindhi products are also in the same boat. We don’t have a Sindhi Marketing Company, which can take charge of all these varied Sindhi products and make them available to whosoever needs it. Although there is also a significant demand for these products but most people don’t know how to get them around the globe. As against our Learn Sindhi CD, any other language CD is priced at a minimum of 50 dollars.

As you can see this CD is divided in 8/9 simple sections. Beginning with basic vocabulary alphabets we have, in following sections, about 2000 frequently used everyday words, frequently used proverbs, sentences from everyday conversation. We have used both male and female voice for the words and sentences. In all this language learning process we have tried to give variety of words, proverbs, conversations suited to every facet of Sindhi life. There is the auto play button, when pressed will automatically read the entire lesson. One can read the Sindhi word/sentence, hear it in Sindhi, and read the English translation simultaneously. The ‘Help’ button will help the user to locate whatever he/she is looking for. One can print or record a particular lesson or learn to play his own words and compare them to the ones contained in the CD. In short, we have tried to make the process of learning Sindhi language easy, stress free and a happy experience.

In other sections we have covered various related factors of Sindhi life, culture, festivals, who’s who in Sindhi society, frequently asked questions about Sindhyat. This section is mainly for NRI’s who love to know more about their motherland Sindh and teach them to their children. We have used pictures of Sindhu Nadi on the back cover, and various stills from Mohen-Jo-Daro.  We have used Sindhi music wherever it is required. We have also added a sample of Sindhi literature, as poetry for the benefit of our viewers.

So far there has been a good response, but it is too early to say yet. I have more such projects on the anvil, foremost is to put entire work of my parents, Sundri and Uttam on CD with their photograph and biographies. I have also planned a CD on Sindhi proverbs, (There are 3000 proverbs in Sindhi language). There is also a project on Sindhi children picture books, with children stories told by Dada Dadi. We need to help people to achieve their targets but one thing I learnt from my mother, “Don’t be also rans”, this is exactly what I teach my children. Do good work as rewards will come.

Keep up the good work –