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Quintessential Amar Chitra Katha Classics and Games now available on Vodafone

By Flynn Remedios – FUTURISTIC MEDIA NETWORK

If you have cherished dog-eared copies of the quintessential Amar Chitra Katha classics like Hanuman, Rani of Jhansi, Krishna, Shivaji Maharaj, Tales of Arjuna and many others as a child, there is good news for you.

Most of the Amar Chitra Katha classics are now available in electronic form and can be accessed and downloaded via leading cellular provider Vodafone Essar on their pan-India network spread over 22 circles covering almost 98 per cent of the Indian mobile user base.

One can not only access and read the comics, but also download games, wallpapers, animated GIF files and a multitude of other specially purposed content exclusively on the Vodafone Network. The collection will eventually be extended to cover the entire gamut of the Amar Chitra Katha library of content including Supandi and Tinkle.

Speaking to the media at the launch in Mumbai, Vodafone Marketing and New Business Director Harit Nagpal said, “Vodafone subscribers can now listen to folk stories, read entire Amar Chitra Katha comics, download ring tones and wallpapers, take quizzes and play games based on the stories.” Vodafone Essar in India is a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc and has operations in 22 circles with over 63.34-million subscribers. Vodafone is delighted to recreate the experience on the mobile-screen and take it beyond to the interactive level for our customers, he added.

Also present at the event was ACK Media CEO, Samir Patil and Anant Pai (popularly known as Uncle Pai), Editor Emeritus, Amar Chitra Katha.

A visibly moved Anant Pai, always energetic and animated like his characters – though he is touching a grand 80 years of age – said that the traditional comics in their original print format had to move to new media like the internet and Mobile Internet.

Commending Samir Patil and Vodafone for their endeavor to differentiate themselves by the variety of content, Uncle Pai waxed eloquent on the intrinsic values promoted by the classics, albeit in a very simple and easy to read comics format.

Adding to Pai’s statements, Nagpal opined that Vodafone always strived to provide value to their customers. “We are doing it continuously to increase our revenues and ARPU,” he said explaining that “With a fast growing 350-million plus subscriber base, cell phones have as big a reach as broadcast TV.”

Uncle Pai who launched the fist title Krishna in 1970 (the product was conceptualized in 1967) bridled with exuberance as he recited shlokas and verses in Sanskrit from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

ACK Media CEO, Samir Patil, while explaining the move said that, “For content owners like us, it is critical to create entirely new offerings that are tailored to the interactive potential of the online medium,”

This association with Amar Chitra Katha will allow Vodafone customers to enjoy a host of services. The services will be available to Vodafone customers through a voice portal and through Vodafone Live!

Through the Voice Portal, Vodafone subscribers can listen to folk stories from The Karadi Tales, audio dramas from Charkha and musical tales from Under the Banyan Tree. Vodafone customers can also choose to listen to the poetry delivered by the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, take quizzes and chuckle over jokes from Tinkle.

Vodafone LIVE! will provide customers with an opportunity to read entire Amar Chitra Katha comics, listen to popular stories, and download ringtones and wallpapers of their favourite characters on their cellphones. In addition, Vodafone customers can play mobile games like Shikari Shambhu Jungle Trouble and Bheema-The Asura Temple from a selection based on various Amar Chitra Katha characters such as Arjun and Bheema as well as those based on popular Tinkle characters like Suppandi and Shikari Shambhu.

Vodafone customers need to dial 567607 from their mobile phone to enter the world of Amar Chitra Katha at a subscription charge of Rs 30/month. While Vodafone Live provides access to a lot of free content, Vodafone customers can also download various services at charges varying from Rs 5 for Videos to Rs 15 for ring tones and Rs 50 for Games.

Elaborating on the nostalgic potential of the Amar Chitra Katha classics, Nagpal said, ”We all understand the influence of Amar Chitra Katha characters in our lives. We are delighted to recreate a similar experience on a mobile phone and take it beyond to the interactive level for the benefit of our customers.”

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