Students, researchers and enthusiasts across the country face problems when searching Bangla contents on internet as most of the redirected links are misleading and not properly optimised. Often the results are linked with news portals or parts of irrelevant blogs.
Needless to say, the same topics in English are more precisely optimised and linked to the search engines that are naturally painstaking for a Bengali reader to grasp, such as abstract ideas of Arts, Mathematics, Physics or Programming in the second language.
So was Muntasir Wahed, a student of Dhaka University (DU) Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department, facing the same problems thought hard to overcome from this situation with his curious mind.
The outcome of his efforts was an online platform shoshikkha.com, Wahed's brainchild that is open for all to read and contribute Bangla contents on general knowledge, mathematics, physics, chemistry, coding and many more as a self motivated learner can learn on her/his own.
"It was March 4 of 2015," he said at an interview with the daily Observer recently, "As a fresher I was wandering on the campus with my classmates. When the idea came to my mind I started knocking my friends and teachers for concerted efforts to materialize the dream of an online knowledge platform solely in Bangla language." "At last we're able to initiate the site in the very month with the then first semester students of DU science school," Muntasir recalled from his memory lane.
The editorial board and regular contributors of shoshikkha.com are working relentlessly to share academic and general knowledge in Bangla.
Assoc Prof Lafifa Jamal of DU CSE Department, expressed her satisfaction terming the initiative unique and timely.
She said, "This is really impressive. The boys are dreamers. Most of us start to do 'something' in our third or last year of the academic calendar. But they started from the very beginning of their academic life."
The youngsters started shoshikkha.com with four specific areas of science and they are working to expand the site and its contents with other disciplines.
Muntasir also said, "We're working to enrich the contents in Bangla as well as raising a good perception about the use of internet. We want to do something special in our mother tongue."
"We started our content development initiative keeping three points in mind- explaining ideas in easy words, enriching Bangla words and finally we want to expand our footprints by working together," Saadman, one of the editorial board members said.
"We're looking for the ones who are interested but have no scope to contribute to our mother tongue. We got much appreciation from our guardians, CSE Assist Prof Amin Ahsan Ali, Assoc Prof Lafifa Jamal and Farhad Naeem, a senior Alumni of DU CSE and presently working as a Software Developer in one of the leading software firms of the country," Muntasir said.
Farhad later joined shoshikkha family in 2016 as one of its editorial board members.
The site started its online journey from March 4 of 2015. Initially, the web-able is a cross discipline platform for all subjects. The window is open for all to contribute. Saadman Sakib, Dristy, Dipto and Rizvi of CSE shouldered the tough job together and pushed the project forward through many ups and downs. "We've also got supportive calls from our well-wishers outside Dhaka including Sakib Akbar of Chittagong College and Nuzhat Tabassum Prova of Scholars Home," Muntasir recalled with gratitude.
Our first target is to expand branches of opportunity for all to contribute their level best in knowledge in general. We are very hopeful to reach the number of content to 500 by end of this year, Muntasir and Farhad expressed their optimism. They are also passionate to organize some events focusing local culture and linguistics.
"Finally, we'll go for video lectures in a broad way emphasizing visual education," said Farhad.
At this moment shoshikkha.com has an editorial board consisting Muntasir Wahed, Azwad Anzum Islam Dipto and Saadman Sakib of CSE Dept, Farhad Naeem, Alumni of DU CSE, Dristy Badhon Sarkar of Genetic Science and Engineering and ATM Jahid Hasan of Nuclear Engineering and Galeeb of Institute of Information Technology. The platform is now all set to move forward with another language movement from the University of Dhaka.