As many as 100 women from the coastal village of Poovar can now look forward to spending quality time before a desktop computer in their free hours. The women in the 18-30 age group formally entered the portals of the IT world at a function held here on Thursday.

They received certificates on successful completion of IT training offered by the Kerala State IT Mission in association with the Erikavila Vanitha Sangham of Poovar.

Shashi Tharoor, MP, felicitated the women at the function.

The45-day computer training programme introduced the participants to the basic utilities of computers and the use of Internet and e-mail. A crash programme on communication skills was also organised. An evaluation programme in both theory and practical segments was conducted at the end of the course, in which 15 passed with distinction and 64 with First Class.

Giving away the certificates, Dr. Tharoor said he was happy to see women come forward to take up training in IT. He also congratulated the Kerala State IT Mission for this initiative and said, “In the next decade IT will make rapid progression and play a key role in our everyday life. It will help people of every social strata of the society to succeed in life.”

The training was conducted with the faculty support from Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT). The training laid impetus on Free and Open Source tools keeping Kerala Government's directive of promoting free software.

Dr. Rathan U. Kelkar, Director, Kerala State IT Mission, said, “When we startedthe training asa pilot initiative among the fisherwomen community, we were not quite sure of their participation.But their enthusiasm dispelled ourinitialapprehension. We expect local bodies to take a cue from this success andorganize similar programmesfor women and children from the less privileged sections of the society. I also urge the women who have undergone training to take the necessary steps to use IT in their daily life whenever possible.”