With an aim to promote and preserve the Pahari language, a 35 year old youth from Kashmir has started his ‘dream project’ to digitize the Pahari literature.
Mir Ubaid Ayoob has recently launched a website with the purpose to preserve and promote Pahari literature and so far 18 long essays of noted writers and poets of Pahari language have been uploadedon it.
Hailing fromKarnah tehsil of north Kashmir's Kupwara district, Ubaid after completing his MBA from Meerut Uttar Pradesh worked for multiple companies for several years and returning back to Kashmir. He left his job with an aim to promote and preserve the Pahari language.
Ubaid told Rising Kashmir that there was no platform where Pahari literature was available online or in digital format. The literature was only restricted to Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) in books format and had no access to the global audience, he said.
"There were only a handful of singers in the field who sang in Pahari. I decided to make this language one of the powerful languages as it has its rich culture and literature,” Ubaid said.
Earlier Ubaid used to upload content including songs in Pahari language on his social media platforms and that was also getting popular across the Line of control (LoC).
His YouTube channel‘UA Club’ has 68k subscribers and on Facebook, ‘UA Club’ has 1.8lak followers.
He said there was a gap of rich literature which was available only in books. Now it is my dream to make it in digital format to provide free access to Pahari language lovers across the world.
"Presently we are only choosing some of the important topics, popular novels, poems and stories for the website. We are working on other things as well to make content interactive on the site,"Ubaid said.
Some of the poets whose literature has been digitized includes Ghulam Haider Nadeem, Abdul Rashid Qureshi, Raja Nazar Banyari, Noor Ullah Qureshi, Karim Ullah Qureshi, Sheikh Shabir Ahmed, Mohammad Ayoob Nayeem and others.
Ubaid says although it is the initial stage of his project, he is getting positive response and appreciation from the people.
He says although, there are minimal benefits for him in doing this work but in future it will be the biggest contribution for the Pahari language. He is committed to take the language to the next level.
Apart from this website, Ubaid is a stage artist, producer, photo &videographer and cultural activist. He is also working with the team of Kashmir’s famous singer Waqar Khan.
He has also produced some short films in Pahari language including 'Madad' (Horror Pahari Film), Toba (Film on Drugs), Yarru Da Bayha (Comedy Film) and Sanjha Dard (Film on brotherhood).
Ubaid says mother tongue has a deep-rooted connection with their unique identity. It is the language of our heart and there is more comfortable expression in it, he said.
"The role of civil societies and local media in advocating the preservation of mother tongues is important. In reality, very few institutions have been working towards saving the Pahari language,” he said.