Crowdfunding for literary translation initiatives from one local language to another in India

It is no longer possible to ignore how crucial the processes of translation have become. It is, on the one hand, a condition for global relations of exchange and on the other, a medium especially liable to reveal cultural differences, power imbalances, and scope for action.

Literary translators in India suffer a lot, for it’s an industry that has struggled not just for recognition, but also for compensation. Indian literary has seen authors like Rabindranath Tagore, who profusely translated his own works from Bengali to English. Works of prolific writers like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Munshi Premchand, Vivek Shanbhag, etc, reached a wider audience only due to translations.

It can be very difficult for someone to translate their work from one local language to another. They require a lot of funding to sustain themselves while they work on the translation, and one of the most common ways to raise funds for this is crowdfunding.

It is never easy to get money out of strangers, but if you have a good concept and life story, you would be able to sell it to them. Crowdfunding India is a new and emerging way of funding ideas or projects by borrowing funding from large numbers of people accessed through a website.

Here is an example of a successful campaign that raised funds through crowdfunding India to translate books and provide it to various schools:

17000 ft. foundation is a nonprofit that has been working tirelessly to improve the lives of children living in the toughest inhabited regions of the world, the high altitude Himalayan region of Ladakh, India. The foundation has set up 250 school libraries, 140 playgrounds and trained over 1000 teachers. For the 30,000 school going children in this region, there was no storybooks in their mother tongue, Bhoti.

The aim of this organization was to translate, contextualize, print and distribute 15,000 storybooks. The region has 1000 schools catering to 60,000 young children, who struggled to cope with an English based curriculum. Though their native language Bhoti was taught as a third language, there were no child-friendly books available for them to read. There was an urgent need to preserve this ancient language and help kids read.

But the scenario changed drastically, through crowdfunding India, they raised Rs 2,39,190. They shared their fundraiser on it’s Facebook and Instagram pages. The project of translating books is still underway, but will now face no roadblocks thanks to the crowdfunding.

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