In a diverse country like Pakistan, where many different languages and dialects are spoken, the emphasis of learning in schools seems to, unfortunately, centre solely on the English language.
But many are now shifting the focus on other local languages, especially Urdu, when it comes to creating building blocks for our children through the stories we narrate to them.
Shehzad Roy’s Zindagi Trust, a non-profit organisation, recently launched Tiflatoon, a series of local children’s stories on YouTube.
Tina Ki Chatpat Dunya, the third video of the series is a story adapted from Little Ant’s Big Plan by Candice Dingwall, Steven McKimmie and Telri Stoop. It was re-written by Fatima Aizaz and Sana Kazmi, and illustrated by Areeba Hassan.
The story follows little Tina, who is “hooked to TV shows and blogs much to the dismay of her parents, until one day there is a crisis in their ant colony…”
Written, illustrated, animated, narrated and produced by a diverse set of young local creatives, Tiflatoon is an initiative to create original children’s content inspired by local languages, culture and ideas and aims to spark curiosity and bring joy through original animated children’s stories for today’s Pakistan.
In the first video, Toh Boltay Kyun Nahi, Roy himself sings and gives a prelude to the story that encourages children to speak up.
Zindagi Trust works on pilot projects of school reform at government schools and advocates practices to change education policy.