Pullampara declared first fully digitally literate panchayat

The initiative, launched in August 2021, has trained 3,174 persons in using digital equipment in the local body in Thiruvananthapuram

September 21, 2022 08:30 pm | Updated September 27, 2022 01:11 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan receives a video call from Santha of Palamkonam, Pullampara grama panchayat, near Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday. Pullampara was declared the first digitally literate panchayat in the country by the Chief Minister.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan receives a video call from Santha of Palamkonam, Pullampara grama panchayat, near Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday. Pullampara was declared the first digitally literate panchayat in the country by the Chief Minister.

A year-long intensive grass-roots-level programme to equip every resident of Pullampara grama panchayat be digital-savvy culminated on Wednesday in the declaration of the local body as a 'fully digitally literate' panchayat. Making the declaration, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Pullampara, in Thiruvananthapuram, has become a model for all the panchayats in the country and has shown a new path in the State's quest to become a knowledge economy.

The plans to impart digital literacy to all residents of the panchayats under the Digi Pullampara project began in August last year under a five-member core team led by panchayat president P.V. Rajesh and comprising district women welfare officer Sajina Sathar, MGNREGS district engineer Dinesh Pappen, KAS trainee Sanob S. and technical education department employee Shamnad.

A survey was carried out across all wards to identify those who are digitally illiterate. Out of 3,917 people thus identified, training was provided to 3,300 as the rest were bedridden. Students from the National Service Scheme (NSS) units of five engineering colleges in the region and a higher secondary school aided in the training programme, along with Kudumbashree volunteers. The trainees, most of who were using digital equipment for the first time, were taught to make voice calls as well as video calls using smartphone, to use WhatsApp, to carry out Internet banking and to use popular social media platforms.

The digital literacy drive in progress at Pullampara in Thiruvananthapuram.

The digital literacy drive in progress at Pullampara in Thiruvananthapuram.

As many as 3,174 trainees successfully cleared the evaluation that was conducted afterwards. “In the current times, merely being literate is not sufficient. Digital literacy has also become important to lead a better quality of life. Kerala is the first State to declare Internet as a basic right. The K-FON project aimed at providing Internet access to all citizens is nearing completion. When Internet becomes available to everyone, we have to equip all of them in using it. The Digi Pullampara project is such an intervention. Knowledge to make use of Internet is important not just for getting information, but also for easily accessing government services. The government has now made 800 services available online,” said the Chief Minister.

The digital literacy drive in progress at Pullampara in Thiruvananthapuram.

The digital literacy drive in progress at Pullampara in Thiruvananthapuram.

Minister for Local Self-Governments M.B. Rajesh, who presided over the function, said the activities to impart digital literacy and the involvement of people from various walks of life reminded him of the literacy movement in the late 1980s. He also expressed the hope that all the other local bodies too implement similar projects.

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