A UK couple hailing from Gorakhpur is using YouTube to make Urdu accessible
A UK-Based couple, Shahid Khan, IT professional, and Imbisaat Geti, scientist at the University of Cambridge, has taken on an unlikely project. They have started a YouTube channel to make Urdu simpler for children and anybody keen to learn the language. Till now, all their videos, including the last one on numbers uploaded in March, have been well received.
Shahid Khan with son Ahsham
The idea emerged from the manner in which their son Ahsham picked up English numbers and letters quickly with video-aided learning tools on YouTube. “Just before turning two, he was able to recognise alphabets, colours and numbers. Unfortunately, we struggled to teach him Urdu with the same pace because no learning tools were available. That’s how the idea of Aasaan Urdu was born” Khan explains.
The couple, who grew up in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, are proud of their identity and wanted their child to learn Urdu but the channel, the believe, will aid anyone trying to pick up the language. Started in December last year, there are four videos on the channel as of now. The feedback in the form of comments is encouraging with over 2,000 views on most videos. “We have worked hard to employ Urdu alphabets in songs and ensure that the letters and numbers are clearly and correctly pronounced. The videos are attractive being full of beautiful colours, engaging music and rhythm. The aim is to keep the audience entertained while learning,” he says.
When pointed out the music and video would be more attractive to toddlers, he agrees but clarifies that their target audience is anyone willing to learn Urdu. As of now, the team comprises the couple and Khan’s brother Rashid Khan. “Imbisaat and I are responsible for the concept, storyboard and editing and Rashid does the animation,” he says.