45 tribal hamlets in Erode to get smart study and tele-medicine centres

The project Punnagai (smile) will provide long-range wireless connectivity at hamlets by installing towers and Wi-Fi internet speed of 100 Mbps would be available for smart study education systems at schools to teach, learn and interact with experts.

Updated - January 12, 2024 12:00 pm IST

Published - January 11, 2024 05:11 pm IST - ERODE

Representational. File

Representational. File | Photo Credit: M. Govarthan

As many as 45 tribal hamlets in the district, which lack internet connectivity, are all set to have smart study centres and tele-medicine centres as the Directorate of Tribal Welfare is in the process of establishing long-range wireless internet connectivity in the hamlets.

In June 2022, the district administration, implemented a project, Punnagai (smile), at Kathirimalai remote hamlet, located inside the Chennampatti forest range, in Bargur Panchayat Union in Anthiyur Taluk, under which tele-education and tele-medicine facility were made available to the children and people. Following the success, the project was extended to five other remote hamlets in the block and the administration proposed to expand the project to 45 other locations in the hill areas.

Long-range wireless connectivity would be provided at the hamlets by installing towers and Wi-Fi internet speed of 100 Mbps would be available for smart study education systems at schools to teach, learn and interact with experts. The system will also be connected with primary health centres and video calls at specific time schedules will enable people to consult doctors. “The facility will be available in the hill areas of Talavadi, Bargur and Kadambur for students and people in the respective hamlets,” said an official.

The facility will help to bridge the digital divide, make children access to quality education, provide healthcare assistance remotely, empower the communities by providing training and creating economic opportunities and help in overall community development.

The facility will be installed at Guthiyalathur primary health centre, schools at Onthanai, Kunnanpuram, Bharathipuram, Sujilkarai, Chikkahalli, Maharajapuram, Mettalvadi, Arulvadi, Tholli, Balapadugai, Chikkanandi, Thammuratti, Doddagajanur, Doddapuram, Kadubasuvanmalam, Kalmandipuram, Mallanguli, Neithalapuram, Bejalatti, Kodipuram, Velampatti, Gujjampalayam, Koviloor, Basappanadoddi, Chimtahalli, Doddamudugere, Eraganahalli, Gumtapuram, Hiripuram, Honganapuram, Madahalli, Malguthipuram, Mallayanapuram, Mavallam, Palayam, Panakahalli, Ramapuram, Seshan Nagar, Allapuradhooti, Dharmapuram, Gettavadi, Iggalur, JRS Puram and Selumidhooti.

A senior official at the Tribal Welfare Department told The Hindu that the agency has to run and maintain the centres for three years and also arrange mentor programmes for the people. “Tender have been floated inviting bids for establishing the facility and proposals can be submitted till January 19,” added the official.

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