Friday, February 24, 2012

Don't look at Government, Do it yourself: First Urdu Cartoon Website launched

First a great news for Urdu lovers, as also for those who love cartoons. A website that features cartoon strips in Urdu, Urdu Cartoon Kids, has been launched.

To give a sense to reader why it is so important for me is the fact that despite nearly 150-200 million speakers in India and Urdu being the official language in Pakistan, there was hardly anything for kids in this segment on the internet.

For years we have heard Urdu speakers lament that the language is not linked to employment or it doesn't have resources. The truth is that no one stops you from doing anything.

Hundreds of newspapers are published in Urdu and they are full of politics or other mundane news.
However, there is no focus on kids. They don't realise the importance of the young generation learning the language.

Unless the kids gets comfortable with the script, there can't be a strong readership for Urdu or magazines in the coming generations.

We don't have a magazine like 'MagicPot' that appeals to 3-7 year segment either. Government in India established 16 Urdu Academies in India apart from NCPUL and some other institutions for promoting Urdu. Urdu speakers could have put pressure on them to take up such work.

Alas, after the Khilauna ceased publication, even children's magazines don't invest in cartoons, which are the first to attract children towards the written word.

Even more shocking is the fact that though Urdu has the status of official [or national] language is Pakistan, I didn't know of any cartoon site from the country either.

Such gross neglect towards children is astonishing by any standards.

S Mukarram Niaz
But blaming others is easy. What is more important is that you do the job and set standards. It's not easy but it's not impossible either. The website Urdu Kidz Cartoon has been launched.

It will get enriched in the days to come. Now children who surf the net, can read their favourite cartoons, the ones which we read in 70s, the decade of 80s or even the newer comic characters, in their mother tongue.

Spread the word, friends. Such projects need your moral support.
Thank you A big thanks to Syed Mukarram Niyaz. I wish to thank each of the team members individually.

Thank you Mr Syed Nomaan, Ms Andaleeb, Mr Arshad Jamal Hashami, Mr Jawed Nehal Hashami, Mr Shoaib Saeed Shobi, Mr Ejaz Obaid, Mr Syed Hyderabadi and Mr Sawood Ibn-e-Sayeed.

Netizens had put up old cartoon strips in Hindi [and English] that were published in Indrajal comics in the past, on blogs and sites. However, we hadn't seen such a passion among Urdu-walas till  now. Hope the creation of this website would awaken others as well.

Till now Urdu comics were not easily available in India. I am not aware about the situation in Pakistan though.

Just last month I had written the post 'No cartoons, comics in Urdu newspapers' on this blog and had written a post earlier also.

Within a month, I am witness to the birth of this website. Now it's our job to take the site ahead, in terms of suggestions, at least.

True to the catchline, a site for 'eight to eighty year old kids', as there is a child in every adult, this website fills an existing void. Of course, it is just the beginning. So what are you waiting for? Just logon to the UrduKidzCartoon.