Governor’s Address at the release of the Hindi edition of the children’s monthly magazine ‘Gulbootey’
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the release of the Hindi edition of the children’s monthly magazine ‘Gulbootey’ at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 1100 hrs on Wednesday, 19th September 2018
Shri Amin Patel, Member of Legislative Assembly, Adv. Yusuf Abrahani, Ex- MLA, Shri Sohail Lokhandwala, Ex- MLA, Dr Zaheer Kazi, President, Anjuman e Islam Educational Society, Shri Ali M. Shamsi, Shri Mushtaq Antulay, Dr Sheikh Abdulla, Shri Farukh Sayyed, Editor, Gul Bootey, Dr Qasim Imam, Executive Editor, Shri M A Khan, CEO, Haj Committee, all distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning and a warm welcome to Raj Bhavan.
I am indeed delighted to associate myself with the launch of the Hindi version of the children’s monthly magazine ‘Gul Bootey’.
At the outset, I congratulate the Editor and the entire team of Urdu magazine Gul Bootey for launching the Hindi edition of the children’s magazine.
I glanced through the magazine and found it extremely interesting. The book is a mix of knowledge, values and entertainment. It has regular features like stories, cross word, quiz contest and so on. Appropriate cartoons have enhanced the quality of the magazine. Most importantly, the magazine is prized modestly, and therefore it is affordable to parents. On the whole, Gul Bootey is a very pleasant magazine, and I am sure it will be welcomed by the young and the old readers of children’s Hindi magazines.
I was impressed to note that the Founder Editor of the magazine Farukh Sayyed has been publishing the Urdu version of Gul Bootey for the last 24 years. This is extremely commendable.
It is not easy to run a children’s magazine for such a long period; more so if you are publishing it every month.
I am a big fan of children’s magazine and have grown up on a staple of good children’s magazine.
However the scenario of children’s magazines and children’s literature is far from encouraging.
Many iconic magazines published during our childhood years have long closed down on account of falling revenues or due to death of key individuals behind these magazines.
The arrival of television channels, 24 by 7 children’s channels, the internet and now the social media and mobile games have come as a disruptive change for the children’s literature.
These developments are both a boon and a bane for the children, depending on how you look at the change.
As father, and now as a grandfather, I do feel worried that mobile games and smart phones have cast an evil spell on children. These gadgets are silently playing a havoc on the physical, mental and emotional health of children. The challenge is how to protect our children from the harmful adult content and win over them to children’s magazines.
There is second, and perhaps more worrying, development taking place. Children are moving slowly and steadily away from their mother tongue. They may be speaking in their mother tongue, but they like to read and speak in the English language.
New children’s literature is coming mostly in the English language. Children’s literature published in Indian languages is certainly not growing.
I dread to imagine, after say 20 or 30 years, children will not be able to read or write in their mother tongue. We need to view this scenario seriously.
We have to revive and rekindle the interest of children in reading literature in regional languages.
Teachers and parents must spare some time for children and read out stories to them.
There is a need to revive libraries in schools and ensure that libraries have good books. Teachers should use digital medium, voice modulation and folklore tales to generate the interest of children in literature.
There are many newspapers which keep one full page or half page for children and students. This must be continued.
If the body needs food and nutrition to survive and stay in good health, human beings need good books to stay mentally sound and healthy. Good books are like good friends. Good books are biggest stress busters. Good books foster friendships. Good books promote moral and ethical values. Good books promote the spirit of unity and national integration.
There is a child hidden in every individual. And therefore I do feel that every youth, adult and elderly person must read children’s books and children’s magazines.
Until recently, chocolates were seen as children’s favourite items. Today everybody loves and enjoys chocolates, thanks to smart marketing and branding by chocolate-making companies. In the same way, children’s literature should be promoted among the people of all ages.
I am subscribing to Gul Bootey magazine myself for one year. I congratulate the team of Gul Bootey magazine and take great pleasure in releasing the Hindi version of ‘Gul Bootey’.
Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra !!