“The fact that I am a villager should not mean that I cannot speak English. I too fumble when I talk in my videos but I have improved only through practice,” says Yashoda Lodhi, a resident of Sirathu Nagar panchayat in Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh. She runs a YouTube channel named ‘English with Dehati Madam’ which currently has 285K subscribers and over 360 videos. Through YouTube, Yashoda has learnt how to speak in English and is now helping many others living in villages and other remote locations in India to speak the same.
“I watched a lot of YouTube videos to learn English. Scrolling through videos, I learnt that the first step is to stop treating English like an academic subject but a conversational tool. The secret is to consume a whole lot of English content. Start by describing things in your own words to exercise your vocabulary rather than emulating someone else’s speech,” Hindustan Times quoted her saying.
‘Dehati’ means rustic or related to the rural side of the country. Many Indians use the term ‘Dehati’ as an insult for a person who is rural-like, not refined or city-like. But Yashoda Lodhi turns this apparently insulting term into something empowering – a platform where people just like her, living in thatched houses in villages, can learn the art of speaking a foreign language.
Her videos are simple. She teaches how to correctly use tenses, how to speak English without hesitation, how to practise English while doing daily chores and other tips and tricks to enhance one’s vocabulary. Alongside such educational content, she gives her audience a sneak peek into her village life.
You can watch one of her videos here:
Yashoda is a fine example for people to realize the power of the internet and have a strong will to learn something new at any age. We salute her!