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This 12th Grader From Jaipur Translates English Videos To Hindi For Underprivileged Kids

  • JWB Post
  •  July 31, 2015

An all-rounder is how I would describe this lassie I interviewed. A straight-A, 12th grader, who is a part of the student council in Jayshree Periwal International School and will soon be holding her bachelor’s degree in classical vocal music, Chandrika Bothra is a gem in her own genus. There is no end to her awesomeness.

Read on to know about this great ‘out-of-the-box’ initiative she has come up with (along with her team of course!)_MG_1335a

So, tell us about this endeavor.

We call our initiative, ‘Ibodh’. Bodh means to learn, sense and enlighten. We translate Mr. Salman Khan’s video lesson.

She probably noticed my jaw which had dropped to the floor. So she asked

You know what Khan Academy is, right?

I shook my head from left to right, mortified of my cluelessness. Can you imagine, I actually thought that she was talking about the Salman Khan from Bollywood?

Okay, so there is this really amazing teacher called Salman Khan who has uploaded his lessons online on his website. We take those videos and translate them so that teaching and learning, both become easy.

How did you get this idea?  

I started following these videos to cope with the high school studies. That is when I got the idea of making these videos accessible in the remote areas, where getting educated is a luxury which all can’t afford.

Eventually, I found some people who were willing to help me out in the fruition of this idea. We then applied as translators at Khan Academy, got selected and now, are a team of 8._MG_1307a

Do you earn anything through Ibodh?

No, we don’t make money through this. It’s a free service.

What kind of difficulties do you face?

Yes, difficulties are necessary; otherwise we won’t be able to enjoy success. Some of the words from Hindi vocab were too difficult to be understood. Even the village kids couldn’t understand them. Did you know that in Hindi, a rectangle is called Ayaad?

Of course, we didn’t.

So, we changed such terms back to English. And as you know, villagers have yet to discover the magic of internet. Without internet, it’s nearly impossible for them to access these videos. These are a few problems which we often face.

How do you feel about being the team leader?

She meekly met this question with a tinge of blush.

I wouldn’t call myself that. I was just the founder of this initiative. That doesn’t make me a team leader. We are equals and work together as a group._MG_1346a

How have your parents supported you?

Unlike what I had expected, they insisted that I contact more schools and help as many people as I can, with Ibodh.

What is your ultimate goal?

For now, only a frugal number of schools have adapted to this way of teaching. They are in Bhilwara, Chhabra, Haridwar and Sawai-Madhopur. We are progressing, but it is slow.

As I said, people are yet to discover the mystical powers of the Internet. They are unaware about the ways it can make their work easy. So many schools out there still don’t use computers. Soon, we might come up with a campaign in which we’ll encourage people to donate their old computers. That way, they’ll be able to show our videos on a projector to an entire classroom.

The ultimate goal is having an educated lot of youth in India._MG_1303a

With such a busy schedule, do you even get time for any hobbies?

Of course, yes! I love singing and reading. I used to write poetry and play basketball too. I am absolutely crazy about Coldplay and my favorite classical singer is Pandit Hari Chand.

What do you aspire to do after you graduate from High School?

I want to pursue politics and philosophy. I’m planning to apply to an Ivy League College in the USA. I want to get into teaching after that.

If you went away to USA, how will you manage Ibodh?

Ibodh will probably be passed on to my juniors as a legacy. Haven’t thought about it much. I’m always going to be associated with it though. I’ll keep monitoring stuff from there.

Now, that is what I call dedication! It was wonderful meeting this inspiring teen.

If you’re a teen, who is doing something as amazing as Chandrika and her team, write to us at contactjaipurwomenblog@gmail.com

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