Meet Anya Daftary – a 10 year old girl who made English Duniya fun and engaging

This blog post is written by Anya

It was looking like a long boring summer, either watching TV mindlessly or helping my grandmother out at her nursery school. Until of course my Dad and his friend, Neil decided to volunteer my services working at Zaya for the summer.

My job was to make voice overs (voice clips) for the app English Duniya (ED). At first it seemed very exciting and as I spoke to people everyone around me, they thought I was doing something cool. In a few days, I learnt how exhausting life can be and within a week I was ready to put my feet up and go back to my boring holiday.



Anya is the voice for the main character in ED!

My Dad (and Mom) felt I needed to finish a task once I had decided to take it on even if I felt bored and so I was sent promptly back to work. I went back fearing the worst. Marisa from the team was assigned to me. This was a Godsend because she was patient, funny and became my close friend over the next few weeks. She also made sure I actually finished a lot of the work!

Besides translating the English into Hindi and using the online dictionary, I was also involved with choosing the artwork, giving inputs on what interests kids my age and in my class, how to make the app more fun for my friends. Some of the things I did were to tell them to make the headmistress’ hair be open rather than in a bun because that made her look more friendly and less like a boy, I tried to use different tones in my voice to make some parts sound more exciting (these were usually in the afternoon when I was at my awake-best).

When the app was finally out, I couldn’t wait to install it and see how it looks. I felt really good that I was part of this project but I didn’t really realize what a cool thing this was until I was teaching my 80 year old aunt how to use it. Soon some of the teachers in my school found out about this and said it was a really good thing to do over the summer. Now, many of my friends want to help with projects like this and I think it’s a really nice way for us to help other children learn.

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