Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Bollywood songs improve mass literacy! -

"New Delhi: Bollywood songs are helping in literacy improvement as the 'idiot box' turns 'read-it box' for millions of semi-literate and illiterate people in the country.

Social entrepreneur Brij Kothari has partnered with Doordarshan and is using subtitles in the nationally televised song show 'Chitrahaar' to help reinforce reading skills for the semi-literate and illiterate audience.

Professor Kothari, a literacy expert at the Centre for Educational Innovation at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA), has pioneered ''Same Language Subtitling'' (SLS) -- subtitling the lyrics of 'Chitrahaar' songs on television in Hindi.

The lyrics from the hit songs of Bollywood movies are subtitled in Hindi word for word in synchronisation with the visuals. The songs in the music videos are hugely popular and the lyrics well-known.

SLS builds on people's knowledge of the lyrics, enabling partially literate people to anticipate the sub-titles and read along as hearing and reading reinforce each other.

He is using a $250,000 award from Development Marketplace for the innovative pilot project that leverages existing TV viewing by semi-literate villagers for literacy improvement."