A group of people with a love for Marathi have been doing a yeoman service to Marathi literature, but without lots of hype and gimmick that the new age marketeers would do. Their venture — esahity.com – has opened the world of literature for all without a cost.
Anand Mane, Sunil Samant, Sachin Kakde and 17 others met on social networking site Orkut in 2006 with a common cause for Marathi language at heart. They started sharing poetry and prose, while encouraging each other to write more. The group soon got a following of over 50,000, according to a media report.
“About 50 of us met in Mumbai in 2007. Communicating in person encouraged us to publish a collection of our poems. Though getting published was satisfying, it wasn’t enough. We wanted to reach out to as many readers as we could. And internet, we thought, was the best way to achieve our goal,” said Samhita Hiswankar, one of the founding members of ‘esahity’, who works as a software developer with Infosys in Pune.
The young writers launched ‘Netakshari’, an online magazine, the same year. “We realized that only writing skills and the desire to promote Marathi were not enough. Technology was the biggest impediment. So, we made it our strength,” Mane, also a software engineer, was quoted saying.
The technical experts in the team, and there were many, realized that the best way they could take ‘Netakshari’ to the masses was through email. “For sending a mail, the file had to be condensed. The text was usually accompanied by colourful pictures, which increases the file size. We made use of our professional knowledge to condense each file to less than 1MB. And it worked,” says Mane.
Since then, esahity.com has come a long way. Though the weekly edition of ‘Netakshari’ has stopped, it still has a 5 lakh plus following.