Pakistan: Reviving Urdu, one book at a time
This month, Pakistani author Musharraf Ali Farooqi launched a new publishing house, Kitab, to promote Urdu literature among children in Pakistan: Mid-Day
Farooqi: This year, which I spent trying and testing things, was an eye-opener. I travelled to schools in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi and did sessions with children. We sold quite a few books there, and I returned with a better idea of how many copies I must actually print.
However, the most significant insight I had was into reading habits. These visits gave us an idea of what Pakistan’s children were reading, what they would like to read, and what their parents and teachers wished they could experiment with. Many schools across Pakistan have quite a bit of money and the means to buy good books. However, they feel children are missing out on good-quality Urdu books. Kids are competent in English and have access to English books, but know very little about Urdu literature — a fact most parents and teachers greatly lament today.