It was in the year 2011 that my daughter, who was in the 1st grade then, had just begun learning Kannada as 2nd language in her school. One day after returning from school, I heard her humming a Kannada rhyme:
क ख ग घ ङ
च छ ज झ ञ
In this rhyme, the first line starts with the letter क and it is followed by क ख ग घ ङ. The second line starts with the letter च and it is followed by च छ ज झ ञ. It covers the whole set of consonants in this fashion.
क ख ग घ ङ, च छ ज झ ञ and so on is a systematic and most scientific arrangement of consonants in a language. This system originates from Sanskrit and many Indian languages follow it.
“What an excellent way to teach a new language!”, I thought. I was so mesmerised by this rhyme that I immediately tried my hand in writing a similar one in Sanskrit.
कमलं विकसति सुन्दर-सरसि
क ख ग घ ङ
चटकः गायति चिव् चिव् गीतम्
च छ ज झ ञ
The journey of Vedika started with this first rhyme. (I’m still in search of the writer of original Kannada rhyme and I hope to meet and thank him/her one day).
Though this rhyme closely follows Kannada rhyme, I have used my own experience as instructional designer while writing the new one. While writing it, I also had in my mind the music and visuals that went with the words. My friends helped me in setting the rhyme to music, recording it and making animation. And I published it on YouTube as a trial.
This demo song received such an overwhelming response that I was motivated to create more such rhymes to teach alphabets, numbers, names of the colours, animals, birds, vehicles, months, seasons etc.
I started a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform ‘milaap.org’ to create animated videos of these rhymes. ‘www.youtube.com/c/vedika’ was created as world’s first YouTube channel for animated Sanskrit rhymes and stories.
Vedika in Sanskrit means a sacred ground, stage or platform. I wish to grow Vedika as a world-class online platform that provides unique e-learning resources for students of Sanskrit of all age groups. These resources will be useful for:
- Nursery and primary school students whose parents understand the importance of Sanskrit and wish to introduce it to their kids in a fun way.
- High school students who learn Sanskrit as part of school curriculum and want to hone their skills.
- Anyone else in the world, both Indians and non-Indians, who want to explore the treasure of knowledge in Sanskrit and wish to explore different aspects of Indian culture.
Vedika is a collective work of Sanskrit scholars, curriculum specialists, instructional designers, graphic designers, animators, musicians, singers and number of known/unknown supporters. The content we aim to offer includes animated songs, animated stories, comic strips, infographics, e-learning videos, games, activities and much more.
-Dr. Pradnya Shireesh Anjal
Founder, Vedika EdTech