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Whitefield residents learn Kannada, to proclaim ‘naanu Kannadiga’

BENGALURU: Nanage Kannada Gotilla... is a refrain that one hears from migrants in namma Bengaluru. But that need not be the case anymore, at least in Whitefield. Thanks to the endeavours of an organisation, non-Kannadigas will soon be able to proclaim: Naanu Kannadiga (I am Kannadiga). “We want to empower every non-Kannadiga into saying ‘Naanu Kannadiga’,” said Sampath Ramanujam, the founder of Anvaya, which conducts free Kannada classes at Seegehalli Government School, Whitefield to more than 35 people every weekend for over six weeks to help them learn the language for basic communication.

The curriculum includes teaching about 50 words every Saturday and conduct games on Sunday where the learners get a chance to use these words and familiarise themselves with their usage before they deploy them in their daily lives. “Sometimes, migrants here find it very difficult to communicate with other locals because of the language barrier. We want to empower the people in bridging this divide,” said Ramanujam.

The programme is about a month-old and the classes are held for free. Anvaya is working on increasing the batches and hold the classes in more government schools so that at least 1,000 people would have learnt Kannada by November 1. “We chose government schools as it would bring awareness among migrants about the realities of these schools,” Ramanujam said.

A Delhi woman, who moved to Bengaluru recently, said by learning Kannada she will be able to blend with local people and culture. “Coming from north India, the language here is completely different. My eight-year-old son also attends the sessions and he has already picked up some some words,” said Natasha A Lall. With Natasha’s son trying to speak in Kannada to his father, it would not be long before the entire family feels homes in Bengaluru. Anvaya is also planning to make a few of the learners deliver speeches in Kannada on Independence Day. “We are helping them to talk on the occasion of Independence Day in Kannada and we have found this to be motivating,” said Sridevi Sampath, co-founder of Anvaya. On completion of the course, the participants will be given ‘Naanu Kannadiga’ certificates.