Jains Digitize Scriptures to Help Reach Younger Audience

June 1, 2006

Source: New Kerala News

Wire Service: PTI


On June 1, 2006 the Press Trust of India reported, "In an effort to reach out to a 'universal' audience and to preserve their rich heritage, followers of the ancient religion of Jainism are undertaking a project to digitalise information about their religion besides cataloguing volumnous multi-lingual Jain manuscripts to make them accessible to the 'younger generation'. The first phase in this project, undertaken by the Institute of Jainology (a non-profit body of the Jain community) to 'bring out the knowledge in the texts' is already completed with the cataloguing of almost 2000 manuscripts preserved in the British Library in London. 'The second phase of cataloguing another 2400 manuscripts which are with the Wellcome Trust and the Bodleian Library will be completed in another 12 to 18 months,' says Dr Mehool Sanghrajka, Director of Education, Institute of Jainology. The most comprehensive effort, says Dr. Sanghrajka, is the third phase of digitising a selected 1000 manuscripts and creating a 'contextual framework', i.e. Detailing every manuscript's origin, significance, providing audio explanation, video footage and translation of the work with reference to the socio-political history of its time. Besides the manuscripts, every aspect of Jain culture will be incorporated in the project. 'This effort is to bring the texts to life by using modern technology. This will generate interest among the younger generation as every information about us be will available from the Internet,' says Prof Sanghrajka."