San Leandro, Calif. — Using a host of colorful cartoon characters such as an owl and a butterfly, iPad app “Hindi Play & Learn” aims to create an interactive Hindi learning experience while exploring Indian culture at the same time.
Launched by Rashi Bahri Chitnis, the CEO, co-founder and creative director of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Shoonya, the app has 49 original cartoon characters that teach letter associations and showcase the diversity and culture of India through their appearance. For example, Owl is a cricketer, while Mango hails from Gujarat and plays dandiya. Tamarind is from the state of Maharashtra, and Rabbit is from Tamil Nadu. Fish hails from Kashmir, and Sugarcane is from Punjab, among others.
The app features attractive visuals, animation, sound repetition, puzzles, cultural trivia and tracing, all designed to help the user learn Hindi.
“Gone are the days of making India look dated. We and our culture are hip, cool and beautiful and we want the world to see it that way!” said Chitnis, who is also an accomplished filmmaker
“Hindi Play & Learn” has been developed in collaboration with film professionals, educators and Montessori parents, says Chitnis.
The Shoonya team is currently working on a universal app for the iPhone and Android operating systems, along with developing scripts around the characters for mainstream television and films.
The company is focusing on creating content that is a blend of technology, entertainment and education through its cartoon figures.
“Hindi Play & Learn” is available as a free download for the iPad on iTunes here.
This story originally appeared in India West.