Meet UK based Indian Origin Safrina Sidhu Saran who tutors Indian Language to retain mother tongue alive through children

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    File Picture of Safrina with her Children.

    News Input by Kamal Prabhakar UK Head Hello Mumbai News

    I’m Safrina

    A mother to 2 beautiful girls

    I have been married to my wonderful husband, for 17 years next month 🥰

    I have Bsc and Msc in Economics
    Plus a Post Grad teaching Qualification from University of London and City University

    What can I say .. I love Education

    What you do?
    I am Creator/ Writer of SMILE (Speak My Indian Language Easily) 4 Kids Language school

    I have created a Fun and Unique way to teach Spoken Panjabi, Hindi and Gujarati to children

    What’s your Passion ?

    To keep our mother tongue alive through our children
    I want Parents and Children to LOVE their Mother Tongue

    Food for thought ?

    Roots are not the way we dress, food we eat , it’s the language we Speak

    This is what truly defines and identifies us

    What drives you ?

    The fear that our Mother Tongue will be wiped out with this generation, if we don’t embrace it

    Why You started your Business ?

    I took 10 years out of Teaching , to have my 2 beautiful girls 5 And 9 years. We faced lots of struggles to start a family

    Once I was ready to go back to work, I wanted to do something really meaningful in life.

    My inspiration, is one late beloved Mother, my best friend in life

    Children were her life and Children are my life .

    20 years ago, she set up a daily prayer in our temple, Monday to Friday 10.30am to 12pm .. where ladies come and pray same time each day and then cook together
    It was her way of bringing
    community together, each day

    She is still revered for this and it fills my heart with joy when it’s mentioned to me

    How I started ?

    2 years ago, I was struggling to teach my own girls,then 3 and 7 years, to Speak Panjabi

    So I took them to my local Gurudwara, to learn Panjabi

    I was super excited,as I love Education and Learning

    Much to my dismay, teaching lacked Structure, no focus on Speaking ( my main aim ), Large groups of children and classes were 3 hours long !!

    Most of all,there was no Fun element!

    So I visited 2/3 other local temples and found it was the same issues, across the board.

    Teaching Indian languages, was stuck in the dark ages

    That’s when I decided that things had to change

    I used my skills as a Teacher and a Mother and started creating Fun ways to teach my own children Panjabi

    I used my own Songs, made my own flashcards and resources and my girls loved learning and grew in confidence, very quickly

    So much so, that other parents started asking me to teach their children Panjabi

    As word spread, I was asked to offer Hindi then Gujarati

    Any profit I made initially, I re invested on hiring a music producer to create original songs,
    Designers to create my flashcards and a new admin portal for my website to share resources with my students

    It’s been an amazing 2 years and I have taught the most wonderful children🙏

    I adapted to Lockdown last April, by offering Zoom classes

    After much resistance to Zoom( being a tech dinosaur ),
    One parents words changed my whole outlook

    ‘But the children really miss the classes’

    This tugged at my heart strings and I sat for 4 weeks and re wrote / adapted my lessons to suit Zoom

    It was the single best decision, that I have made!!!

    I was teaching Live classes to 40 children locally before lock down last March and now have 515 students on Zoom .

    Your biggest achievement?

    Becoming a mum to 2 children, despite being told that it’s impossible by medics, astrologists etc ( Long story but happy ending

    Your biggest challenge?

    Balancing my passion to Teach Spoken Hindi, Panjabi and Gujarati and grow my language school, whilst nurturing my own children

    One piece of advice for any new start ups?

    In the words of my dear late Father ‘Money makes money’

    Re invest money to double your business.

    Don’t be afraid to spend money ( wisely ) to grow your business.

    But do Make informed business decisions.

    I’m excited for the next chapter!

     

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