India is known for its “Unity in Diversity”. Rich in heritage, values & culture; it is the home to 780 different languages. Shockingly, a recent survey says that 220 languages have died in the last 5 decades. And, let’s face it – Hindi is on the verge of extinction. Although Hindi is a feeder language to over 100 other languages in the North, the bleak scenario of the language only reminds us of the unkind truth. But why is “Hindi” an endangered language? Why does your child struggle to speak in Hindi? In the late 1970’s it was considered fashionable to speak in English. Very soon English medium schools started sprouting all over the country & it soon became a status symbol to study in one.
The optimists say that the rich language shall not die. The adaptability and elasticity of the language will help it survive. But how? Languages can’t be preserved or kept alive in dictionaries & libraries. They live if people continue to talk in their mother tongue. English is the international language of global commerce and finance, thus, most jobs require mastery over the language. With more and more youngsters adapting to English the stunted growth of the language is ailing in all respects of life. Let’s see how –
At home – Your children can barely talk 2 sentences in Hindi. It’s not surprising to hear you child say “Mom, kal holiday hai. Please late uthana”. Is it English or Hinglish? (English+Hindi)
At School – Those who took pride in their language started to worry when students were not offered Hindi as a compulsory subject especially for the science students. This marked the decline of not just the language, but the society as a whole.
At Work – A strong command over English is a precedent for a well-paying, high-end job at work. Fluency in English means sophistication & a grow the in the organisation.
Entertainment – The film industry is a great example of how the society has evolved. The Hindi ‘movie’ posters are written in English these days. The songs are also adulterated with foreign words. Consider the songs – “My name is Sheila… Sheila ki Jawani” or “Wanna be my Chammak Challo”. And, ironically these songs top the chartbusters. Do we have any good writers at all? We have movies being made on famous English novels. But when have we seen movies made on famous Hindi novels. Hardly any, may be none!
Literature – The unsettling reality of metros and towns has influenced the English-medium educated youth to look down upon those who do not speak English as rustics. Even the Hindi newspapers up-north have started introducing bilingual tabloids which are doing very well since it has a mix of Hindi & English. This trend clearly states the gloomy fate of our national language in the urban & rural landscape.
Having embraced the truth, we need to ask ourselves, how do we preserve our language? How do we save it from becoming extinct? Do we want the same fate for Hindi as we saw for Sanskrit? Although we all speak so fluently in English, thankfully, we still pray & sing our hymns in our regional languages. Undoubtedly, English has helped our nation progress phenomenally in the scientific & technology space. But with this development, Hindi is losing its sheen & might just become a rural language spoken by few.
How to revolutionize the change? The answer is to begin from home. With your children. Because they are the future. We have several books written in Hindi which are becoming a breeding ground to dust & mites in the loft. They are probably old school. If we want today’s children to take an interest in learning their own native language, we need to go that extra mile to make it interesting for them. With your support, you can bring back the “Lost Paradise” to life.
But how? This was the question I asked myself. My child was not going to read boring books or newspapers in Hindi. They have enough to read at school. We needed something more. That’s when I googled for something interesting online. For the next-gen savvy kid who is glued to the digital world, “Digital” was the solution. I stumbled upon a website which focuses on bilingual linguistic content for children to strengthen their language skills. The highlight was that over 75% of their articles or content is supported by an audio or a video.
It is a known fact that children learn a lot more from what they see & hear relative to what they read. It is indeed show time! That’s when I discovered Neev Magazine. ‘Neev’ in Hindi means ‘foundation’. That struck the right chord for me. I wanted to build a strong foundation for my child& cultivate the habit of reading.
What we love about Neev Magazine?
- It is a bilingual magazine with interesting content curated in Hindi & in English for children aged 5-15 years.
- It is child friendly & child safe content – it has no external links or promotional ads. So no-bakwas!
- Indian-themed content – All the content is based on Indian characters and the culture depicting the present day situations. How will your child relate to a character living in America or England?
- It encourages children to write & contribute poems, articles in Hindi & English.
- It publishes over 50 articles every month to promise a smartphone-free fun for kids. Indeed a smarter way to unwind.
- It is designed keeping in mind the special needs of children like those who are visually impaired or face other reading disorders like dyslexia.
With startups focusing on the upliftment of the society as the whole, there is no doubt that “Hindi” will survive. Let’s not ring the death bell for our national language. Let’s take the first step today. I remember when my friend proudly announced that her daughter had won the elocution competition in Hindi. It’s a rare sight to see parents taking pride over their children’s dialect in their mother tongue or in Hindi. After all a child who reads, will be an adult who thinks. Isn’t it?
Foray into the world of a unique collection of fiction, comics, poems & stories which mesmerize your child. Let them not become couch potatoes. Sow the seeds of wisdom & happiness. They will become trees with a strong foundation. And at the risk of being repetitive, that’s what ‘Neev’ means – “Foundation”.
You can subscribe for a free 1-month trial on https://www.neevmagazine.co.in/free-trial/ or visit https://www.neevmagazine.co.in/thank-you/ or email [email protected] to know more. To sum up, Neev is the answer to your guilt & determination to find an interesting way to engage your little one and introduce dual concepts at a time. So, go ahead & order your free trial & let us know how your child liked it.