Parenting tips are just a click away
Economic Times, 1 Oct 1999
By Frederick Noronha

Miles away from mother and don't know how to deal with your baby the Indian way?

Don't panic. Just log on to the Internet and gets the best parenting tips Indian tradition has to offer.

For Indians, or people of Indian origin, who have lost access to traditional ways and need urgent tips on bringing up children, has all the answers.

Do you have questions of what Indian tradition has to say on diet during pregnancy, or newborn care? Wondering what grandmom would have done by way of home remedies, or what exactly is the significance of Indian customs of 'godh bharna', 'mundan' and 'naamkaran'? Answers to all that and much more are on the website.

 "We have here a veritable storehouse of information on pregnancy, childbirth, new-born care, developmental milestones, common childhood illnesses and much more," says Nirali Sanghi, the CEO of the company that put IndiaParenting together. She knows just how many questions parents have because she herself became a mother recently. "This is a one-stop shop not only for parents but also for people who want to buy gifts for their nieces or nephews" says Sanghi.

Launched just a few months ago, is already drawing visits from expatriate Indians in different parts of the world, including Britain, Australia, the US, Indonesia, South Africa and Japan.

"Visitors say they found this site 'something that Indian parents sorely needed'," says Sanghi. Her aim is to make it "the most complete and comprehensive guide for Indian parents all over the world."

The website has a section devoted to health issues of women who feel they're no longer in their prime. For those finding it hard to conceive, there's a fertility section.

Internet surfers can also consult the site's panel of doctors on any health issue or pose questions that they were to embarrassed to ask in person. The specialists on the panel include leading gynaecologists, paediatricians, radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists, speech pathologists and dentists. To help parents teach their children Indian traditions, there are also nursery rhymes in various Indian languages (with select audio clips) and Indian prayers of different religions.

Famous Indian epics, like the 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata', tales of the 'Panchatantra' and stories of emperor Akbar and his aide Birbal are also a few mouse clicks away. Party games, reviews of children's films, horoscopes and a section on numerology are also featured on the website. So is a list of over 2,000 Indian names, with meanings.

From a site of about 200 pages, now has more than 1,800 pages of content. Already 20 man-months of time have been invested in designing and developing the website.

Sanghi, the brain behind the site, left a high profile corporate job at the Boston Consulting Group to capitalize on the Internet boom and establish a family of websites. After a nine year stint in the US, she returned to India in 1995. She has worked for Citibank in New York and was a management consultant at the Boston Consultant Group's Mumbai office till 1998.

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