Kannada gotilla? Residents’ associations here to help

Some of them are organising spoken Kannada classes

The city, with its thriving and expanding migrant population, is becoming a cultural melting pot, and many newcomers are keen to embrace Kannada. Residents, too, want migrants to learn the language. With this in mind, several groups and residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) have taken up the task of teaching basic spoken Kannada to those who are not familiar with it.

Residents’ Welfare Association Bangalore East (REWABE), for instance, has been holding classes regularly, and is hoping to start another round of tutorials next month. Roy Thomas, one of the organisers, said that such a necessity arose around Cooke Town as the area is predominantly filled with non-Kannada speaking residents. “As it is close to Cantonment, it has always had that cosmopolitan touch. Many who were born and raised here don’t speak Kannada,” he said.

RWABE had conducted classes in 2019. “Since many expressed their desire to join, we thought that classes during the weekends would be more beneficial. We previously had classes on weekdays. This will be our third batch,” he said.

Veena Damodaran, one of the instructors, said they taught basic conversation skills. “We give them home work and instruct them to speak in Kannada in public. Once they do it, they come up with doubts for the next class,” she said.

Similar spoken Kannada classes were being conducted by various teams in and around Whitefield and Varthur areas, but are not formally structured. “There is a huge migrant population in and around the area who cannot speak Kannada. Hence, instead of blaming that they do not know or speak Kannada, we decided to teach them,” said Jagadish Reddy of Varthur Rising.

Volunteers teach working professionals who live primarily in gated communities. “Such efforts should be held in a sustained way across the city. We often witness fights and people venting their frustration owing to the language barrier. Instead of complaining, we should work towards bringing about a positive change,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:17:14 AM |

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