It's a news that will gladden the hearts of Urdu lovers across the world. A treasure of Urdu books, ranging on diverse subjects, is now available to you--on website and on your cell phone screen.
Further, it's all free. Sounds too good to be true! But that's reality. Two persons--Ejaz Obaid and Dr Saif Qazi, have made it possible after painstaking efforts. First, the BazmeUrdu library's website was created.
With more and more people accessing the internet through their cell phones, the challenge was to make the library available to readers who wanted to access books through their mobile phones.
The duo have accomplished this task too.
The library keeps getting bigger by the day, as more books are being included in it, on a regular basis.
Another positive aspect of this Online Urdu Library is that, the books are in Unicode, and hence, the text can be searched and copied, unlike image-based Urdu that was in use in most websites.
The Android app is now available on Google play store. So, anyone can simply add the application, and then browse though this library. There are sections viz. poetry, novels, history, philosophy, children's books, satire, biographies et al.
Institutions fail, Individuals show the way
While people commonly rue the lack of patronage to Urdu, this determined duo has shown how individuals can do, what institutions should have done.
There is no dearth of institutions working for the cause of Urdu in India.
Apart from National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu Hind, there are more than a dozen Urdu academies and many other such cultural bodies.
Yet, despite substantial government funding, they failed to accomplish the task.
But here, two persons, have managed to not only set up the online Urdu library but also brought it on cell phone screens. Clearly, it is such frenzied Urdu lovers, who will drive the language in future too.
In an article in daily Inquilab, journalist Alamullah Islahi, writes about the uniqueness of this project. Islahi mentions that, 'due to the unicode format, it is easy to read the books even on slow connections, unlike past when it took time for image-based pages to load".
Dr Saif Qazi is a medical practitioner, who lives in Maharashtra. In the past he had launched a Urdu social networking website too. Despite his professional responsibilities, he has been involved in this work--spending from his pocket and also giving hours daily, just because of his love for the language.
The Hyderabad-based man shuns publicity but has played a major role in the development of Urdu keyboard, as well as other aspects relating to Urdu on the internet.
As long as we have such Urdu enthusiasts, there is no reason to be pessimist about the language. Earlier, Syed Mukarram Niaz, came up with his website UrduKidzCartoon.
It was also an important need, and no institution had paid attention towards the lack of Urdu content on internet. [Don't look at government, do it yourself]. More heartwarming is the fact that people in India, are not just preserving the language and literature, but are also working with a missionary zeal to ensure that the zabaan is in sync with modern times.
*CLICK to download the Android App from Google Play store to surf the library on your SMART PHONE