If you don’t want to be left behind in India’s growth story, you may have to catch the digital bus. And, to help many who are still moving forward, slowly but steadily, Ford Business Services Centre and Rotary Club of Madras have donated close to 700 computers since the Ford- Rotary Digital Literacy Programme was launched about two-and-a-half years ago.

Mike Nithavrianakis, British deputy high commissioner, said the Indian growth story, unlike that of many Western countries, lies in front of us. Calling education a priority, he said that though there is a huge intellectual demand in India, it was equally important to give young people the skills that would make them competitive in the job market. “Once you get them into the job market, you can get them to prosper and progress,” he said.

This year, ten educational institutions collectively received 170 computers.

Joginder Singh, executive director, Ford Global Business Services, said this programme would have a multiplier effect. “The 700 computers donated so far will touch close to 10,000 lives. The computer is a tangible asset, and can be used by several students,” he said.

The programme focussed not just on the hardware, but also the software that would help aid the digital gap. For many like Vijaylakshmi, who was featured in a video about those who have been benefitted by this programme, the lure of the technology still holds ground. “I am proud to be called a computer teacher,” she said in the video beaming.

R. Seshadri, president, Rotary Club of Madras South said that there was tremendous enthusiasm from parents of first-generation learners. “They want their children to be technologically sound,” he said laying emphasis on the importance of digital literacy in education and among educators.

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