As a parent bringing up two kids in Karachi, Pakistan and being someone who uses technology in any sphere of life possible, it was really hard for me to go through the parenting process without being able to provide educational tools for my kids on the various devices that we as a family possess. My son for instance was using an ipad since he was 2.5 years old and it being such an intuitive device it was only half satisfactory to to see him listening to english nursery rhymes, paint with finger painting apps on scenes that a westerner would be more partial to (baba what is a skyscraper?) and start his early years with a barrage of information that was, lets just put it crudely pretty alien to his own culture.
However over the years I have been watching the local app development scene with more than a little enthusiasm ( I break out in chest thumping green hysteria over them once a week at social gatherings) and I must say we have come a long long way in this medium. Just recently I was pointed to an app by a good friend called “Duddoo aur Dhobi” by Jugnoomedia. This app is simply awesome because not only does it contain two very popular nursery rhymes (o baba duddo & dhobi aya) but it fully incorporates the touch system of the tablets and smart phones we carry around these days. By that I mean that the app starts out after pressing the play button with a scene in which a child can poke at the frog see him jump and do all sorts of kool things, pull balls, move clouds and everything a little mind could fancy all to the tune of the nursery rhyme playing in the background.
While it may seem to some of my readers that this is a pretty rudimentary set of principals in a touch screen based app it is almost a shame to say that till this instance I have not been able to find a single worthwhile app that does the same using our cultural norms and singing things to kids in urdu. Jugnoo means firefly in our language and I feel it is but apt that this company has produced an app to fire up the imaginations of our young ones!!
So a big hurrah from me to the folks at Jugnoomedia and may you produce many such apps and educational toys so that our children even though faced with an enormous tide of globalization and homogenous culture can still pick up on our traditions and preserve our heritage in this gentle fun way!!