Thursday, June 27, 2024

New App "Speak Kumaoni" Launches To Promote Regional Language

A new website and app, "Speak Kumaoni," designed to teach the Kumaoni dialect, was officially launched. The platform offers an easy way to learn the reading and pronunciation of the Kumaoni language, available in ten Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi, and English.

The development of 'Speak Kumaoni' is credited to Dr. R. K. Thukral, a Punjabi native of Rudrapur with a PhD in Economics from Kumaon University, Nainital. Dr. Thukral, who is  the founder-director of a 24-year-old ITeS company in Delhi, also resides in the village of Managher-Sundarkhal in Nainital District. Notably, the website and app are offered completely free of charge.

The content for the platform is derived from the book "Kumaoni Pahari Boli" by Haldwani-based educationist, musician, and Kumaoni folk expert Hema Harbola. Radio Journalist Sunita Bhaskar of 'Hello Haldwani' at Uttarakhand Open University provided the Kumaoni voiceovers, while AI technology generated the audio for the other ten languages. The project received special support from various individuals and institutions in the Kumaon division.

Last week, Dr. Thukral presented the app to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at Uttarakhand Sadan in New Delhi. Chief Minister Dhami commended Dr. Thukral's initiative, emphasizing the significance of offering the app for free. He expressed optimism that the app would benefit tourists, travelers, and the Kumaoni youth living in other states, and strengthen the promotion and propagation of the Kumaoni language.

Prominent figures such as Surendra Singh Rawat, General Secretary of the Kumaon Language, Literature and Culture Society, Dr. Hayat Singh Rawat, Editor of the Kumaoni monthly from Almora, Dr. Saraswati Kohli, Editor of Kumaoni monthly "Adli Kushli" published from Pithoragarh, Damodar Joshi, editor of Kumaoni monthly "Kumgarh" published from Nainital district, Charu Tiwari, editor of Kumaoni quarterly "Dudboli" published from New Delhi, Hem Pant, Himanshu Pathak and Dayal Pandey,  conveners of Creative Uttarakhand and Kitab Kautik, Kumaoni folklore-Singer duo Govind Digari and Khushi Joshi, Rajiv Ghai, former President of Kumaon Garhwal Chamber of Commerce, Neeraj Bewari of Business Uttarayani and other local dignitaries and institutions have congratulated Dr. Thukral on his efforts to promote the Kumaoni language.

Dr. Thukral demonstrates the “Speak Kumaoni” app to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

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