BANGALORE: How can 350 million children in India across lingual barriers and urban-rural divide read the same books? The answer - multilingual books - was extensively discussed in the literary meet ‘Sabha 2011’ organised by Pratham Books on Saturday.
Authors, illustrators and translators who have been working with Pratham books to publish children’s book also participated in the meet which also hosted a panel discussion on “The Joys and Challenges of Creating Multi-Lingual content for Children”.
Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of Pratham Books, gave a context to the discussion by presenting the need for such books. She said there were only few books in the regional languages and spoke about the concept of common creative framework which can be used to download books free of cost or copyright and publish it locally anywhere in the world.
Author Dr Mamta Sagar’s said spending more time with children will throw more story ideas. Translators can interact with children before choosing the best lingual alternative for an English word, she suggested.
The reach of these books cannot be questioned after one narrated this incident: A child living with disability was introduced to reading when her mother read a line from a multi-lingual book in her mother tongue, her brother read the same line in English and the grandfather was called in to enact.