2nd Digital Literacy & Panchayat Summit
Empowering Rural Panchayat through Digital Literacy Programme
- To build a strong case & compelling advocacy for maximizing adoption of wireless technologies for rural empowerment and enable delivery of content and services to reach masses.
- How panchayats can become two-way platform to provide e-governance services through digital inclusion
- How to improve efficiency and functioning of Panchayats with information and content resource platform
- Using digital Panchayats to facilitate deployment of rural citizen services delivery through digital means
- Roadmap to generate social, cultural and economic advantages for every Panchayat with a two way information and content gateway.
Moderator: Osama Manzar, Founder & Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)
- N. Ravi Shankar, MD, BBNL & Administrator, USOF, DOT, MOCIT
- Dr. Govind, Ceo, National Internet Exchange Of India (NIXI)
- Anoop Singh, Spl Secretary, Information Technology & Communication, Government Of Andhra Pradesh
- Debjani Ghosh, Managing Director, Intel
- Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM
- Rajen Varada, Director, Technology For The People
Mr. Manzar, Founder & Director, DEF initiated the session by asking people from the Arain block, Ajmer, to share their views about digital literacy and what has been there experiences with the internet so ar. It is important to note that Arain is one of the three places where NOFN has been implemented first. One of the teachers appointed to educate girls in this block shared that it was indeed a great initiative from Govt. but he faced some difficulties in teaching girls, who hadn’t even seen a computer before in their lives, about internet. He then sharedthe story that when his maid saw him teach Internet to girls, she also urged to learn and has been learning the basics of Computers & Internet for the past 2 months. Mr. Manzar then turned to the people from Panisagar (North Tripura) the second place to receive the NOFN line. One gentleman from the group literally blessed Internet for giving the exposure of world, whichthe people from Panisagar had never had before. While he originally thought the Internetwasa waste of time, he shared that he now feels it is a great medium for awareness. Another girl from the group sharedthat she was very keen to learn computer from an initial age but could not do so due to circumstances. But when this project reached their village, she readily grabbed the opportunity. She now has a mail address& a Facebook account. She thanked the DEF for enabling them to learn and help them to get access to computers & Internet.
A gentleman from Kutch, Gujarat shared his experience as to how his organization did a pilot with almost 50 panchayat members and gave them modular training for 6 months. The most important component was to mainstream ICT into panchayat working system. As a result of this training, after 6 months those members have created a network on Facebook. They now use Skype regularly. Also his organization has developed an application called as LGSS i.e. Local Government Support System. Using this application these people have now started doing budgeting and planning for their areas.
The Gram Pradhan of a village from Varanasi also shared his views. He told everyone that when his village first got their website with the help of DEF, many other village sarpanch called him up to get their villages on the website as well. He added that each and every villager has been proud of this achievement. In fact they have received a grant of Rs 2 Crores from Govt. to promote this digital literacy in villages. Mr. Manzarpointed that each gram panchayat must come up with a website to share all of their works, their super visionary acts, new Govt. schemes etc. which would bring a revolution in terms of transparency in governance.