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Bringing computer literacy within the reach of underprivileged

Staff Reporter
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Useful donation: U.S. Consul-General Jennifer McIntyre hands over a computer to a student, in Chennai on Tuesday. President of Ford Business Service Joginder Singh and Director of Community Service Development, Rotary International, Chandra Bob are in the picture. — Photo: S. R. Raghunathan
Useful donation: U.S. Consul-General Jennifer McIntyre hands over a computer to a student, in Chennai on Tuesday. President of Ford Business Service Joginder Singh and Director of Community Service Development, Rotary International, Chandra Bob are in the picture. — Photo: S. R. Raghunathan

“I will send e-mails to my friends. I can study and play games in the computer at my hostel,” says K. Kokila, a student of Don Bosco Anbu Illam, on her plans once her hostel installs computers. “I have already attended computer classes, and it is fun,” she adds. Around 175 computers were distributed to six schools and institutions as part of the Computer Donation Programme initiated by Ford Business Services Centre (FBSC) and the Rotary Club of Madras South, here on Tuesday.

“We hope to educate 800 youngsters from various villages and slums around our centres such as Karaikal and Thalavady with the 100 computers we have received. It would improve the job opportunities for the underprivileged youngsters,” says P. Sagayaraj, financial administrator, Don Bosco Group of Network schools.

At the Corporation Girls' High School, Saidapet, there are 28 computers used by 320 students.

“This was insufficient after 15 of our systems became outdated. The new computers would replace them, and be useful to students particularly in lower classes to learn the basics of computers,” says S.K. Balasubramaniam, principal of the school.

For Belu Sheeba Rani, principal of Vidya Niketan Matriculation School, a private school in Ashok Nagar, the computers have come as a blessing at a time when the school is facing a crunch of funds with the fee regulation in place.

A digital literacy CD in Tamil ‘KnowIT' is also being distributed to encourage self-learning. Chief Guest and US Consul-General Jennifer McIntyre spoke about the U.S.-India Education Mission. As part of the mission, Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service Suresh Kumar will lead 21 American Universities on a first-such-mission to India.

The delegation members would meet prospective Indian students as part of the measures to improve educational exchanges with universities.

“Such Corporate Social Responsibility activities and community development initiatives are part of the basic fabric of running a company,” said Joginder Singh, president, Ford Business Service Pvt. Ltd.

“Digital literacy is an important initiative since even class VIII drop-outs can easily pick up basic computer skills. We are planning to extend it to more villages,” said Chandra Bob, Director, Community Service Development, Rotary International.

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