Free/Open Source movement is creating an indelible impact in the way ICT is making its inroads into the rural India. FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) also has opened democratic spaces for the participation of civil society, thus creating potential for developing ICT tools to address problems at village level. In this context, OSCAR is an initiative from European and South Asian Institutions to develop Open Source ICT solutions to assist decision making on farm-level concerns in agriculture.
Integrated pest and weed management is today considered as the most attractive option for crop protection. It involves a proper choice and blend of compatible measures comprising cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical so that the components complement each other to keep the pest and weed population at manageable levels. However, its implementation at the farmers’ level is rather limited. One of the main barriers observed being the lack of awareness, timely information and knowledge of the pests and weeds.
The OSCAR system based on IDAO helps to overcome the hurdles. It allows non-specialists to identify weeds through a graphic interface using only drawings. By targeting non-specialists, this tool allows the farming community at the grass-roots level to identify weeds and decide for themselves.
All the technical terms used are highlighted and, at a click, a hypertext illustrated definition is accessible. Bringing ICT to rural areas is however not without risks. Too often, expensive initiatives have had mitigated results, having focused more on technology and less on user needs and the real conditions of its application in the field, relative to cost and robustness.
This project has tried to address farmers’ information needs for weed management. It was done by adapting existing technology (IDAO species identification software) to open source – free operating system (Linux), with an appropriate knowledge database (weed description, weed control measures) that can be kept up-to-date by accessing a central database through the Internet.
|<< This project has tried to address farmers’ information needs for weed management. >>|
Dr. Pierre Grard
Dr Frederic Borne
Dr Claude Edelin
Dr Juliana Prosperi
Dr Rico Lie
Dr Raj Gupta
Dr Samar Singh
French Institute of Pondicherry (India)
0413 – 2334168
Bangla; English; Hindi; Urdu
|Daisy Book Reader|
The objective was to build a low cost CDROM based e-book reader targeting blinds with features close to the ones available in the international market. The features of the E-book reader include supporting Daisy 2.02 standard for eBooks, support for mp3 and raw audio files. It is a portable unit with low power consumption and customizable with upgradeable audio prompts.
The project demanded expertise in designing and developing complex embedded systems with necessary experience in the product development life-cycle. The client required a team that could take on the role of the technology partners for the product, working in tandem with them to evolve the exact specifications of the product. The strong background of the KritiKal’s embedded team in the hardware design and system software was the main reasons for the client to select KritiKal for the project.
Visually challenged needs empowerment to utilize their potential and contribute to the country’s GDP and society’s aspirations. Many of them have proved that they are more capable than the ‘able’ citizens in creating new products, services or raising the bar of service delivery. Books are their friend, philosopher and guide. Reading books in the format they are comfortable with enhance their horizon and make them confident to assert their rights. ICT is a great leveler for the challenged people, as it brings them at par with normal human beings. The initiative also dispels the wrong notion that cost is a barrier for developing innovative products or the digital products are meant for the rich.
0120 – 4310387
|Braille Literature (GITA)|
The Rotary Bangalore Braille Centre is well equipped with 4×4 Index Braille printer, computer, scanner and printer. It publishes various books in Braille including Wisdom International, Drusthi, etc, every month and distributes them free of cost to more than 40 schools and institutions for blind. It also publishes books of literature, Indian mythological stories, Upanishad, Panchathantra and other story books for the blind.
The centre coordinates with other institutes who need training in computers related to Braille software. It is run by volunteers, who devote their time in establishing a library of Braille books, transcriptions, etc, in an effort to facilitate the blind to access and develop interest in books, which are not available to them otherwise in a format they are familiar with.
The centre generates more than 1000 volumes of Braille books and majority of these are distributed freely. Bhagavat Gita in 29 volumes with commentaries by Swami Chinmayanand is already with a print order of 15 sets. It has received wide appreciation from the target audience.
The Rotary Bangalore Braille Centre believes in the old Chinese proverb, “It is better to light a small candle than to curse darkness.” The centre’s endeavour has been to enlighten the visually challenged with the great works of literature so that they learn on their own ethics and values. To facilitate learning the centre published the first Kannada-English Braille dictionary. It has also developed Universal Braille Learning Kit to enhance the effectiveness of Braille education among the rural children.
|<< The Rotary Bangalore Braille Centre believes in the old Chinese proverb, “It is better to light a small candle than to curse darkness.” >>|
Rotary Bangalore Cubbon Park
080 – 99005663