E-literacy programme is being implemented in seven districts
KOCHI: Computers at the Akshaya centres at Thiruvankulam, Kunnatheri in Choornikara panchayat and Udaya Colony are units linked to a wider network that of a social revolution happening silently.
After the success of Akshaya's first phase in Malappuram district, the e-literacy programme is being implemented in seven districts Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Kollam.
"The response from the district has been good so far. We have started 168 centres out of the targeted 261," said K.K. Latheef, district coordinator, Akshaya Project.
At centres that have already become functional, people have started learning first lessons in using computer. "A majority of those coming to the centre are women, mostly housewives," said Mary Asha Paulson, who operates the centre at the remote village Kunnatheri. So far, more than 400 persons have completed the first phase of training from this centre.
Akshaya project is conceived in three phases. The first phase will provide basic introduction to using computer. Detailed courses will be given in subsequent phases. At the same time, these centres will be transformed into "networked multi-purpose community technology centres."
At centres like Kunnatheri, where people have to go a long way to pay bills and get certificates, the centre will be of great help. Besides the declared goal of ensuring at least one computer literate in every family, the Akshaya Project is fulfilling the role of providing job opportunity to the local-level entrepreneur.
These centres provide placement opportunity for trainers and social animators who supervise the functioning of the centre at the panchayat level and head awareness campaigns. The project attains another social dimension when it comes to the centre in the middle of Udaya Colony.
"Residents of the colony came forward to learn the basics of computer. Most of them are women belonging to economically weaker segment," said Sister Mrudula, who runs the centre at Udaya Bhavan.
In the first phase, training will be given to a batch for 10 days at one-and-a-half-hours daily. The entrepreneur will get Rs.120 for each student, of which Rs.40 will be paid by the user and the rest by the local self-government body concerned.
However, experience so far has shown that the response was better in rural areas than in urban region, especially in cities like Kochi.