Digital buzz in the mountains of Tehri

By: BigTech
Thu, 10/04/2014 - 12:28

Last week, NKN team visited Tehri Garhwal in
Uttrakhand to visit the NKN centers which are operational in remote locations
of this district. Tehri, now known as New Tehri is a mountainous town in
Tehri Garhwal District. Since 1988, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC)
is working in the region for development of one of the highest dams in Asia and
for the resettlement & rehabilitation of local populations/communities.
During the construction of the Tehri Dam**, 125 villages were resettled from
their original places to several new places that came to be known as New Tehri.

Over a period of time, THDC realized that
rehabilitation alone does not mean fulfilling its mandate to work with the
people; and it goes beyond regular activity of resettlement &
rehabilitation. Keeping in line with the needs of communities and impactful
interventions, THDC has undertaken a huge initiative of bringing the change
among the affected population through its CSR division.

Simultaneously working on several issues such
as improved health care facilities, electricity facility, agricultural
practices support & livelihoods promotion, promoting disaster management
preparedness and running vocational training centers; THDC approached NASSCOM
Foundation to assist with their digital literacy and IT skills training centers
to run effectively & efficiently. They are running computer centers in
collaboration with other local NGOs which are rendering basic computer literacy
and digital learnings. In total, the team visited four centers situated at
remote mountainous locations. It took us four days to cover all the locations,
as the local commute in hills are always challenging. However, the distance
covered was absolutely worth it - to see the enthusiasm of students and how
much they have learned in a short period of time.

In an interaction’s with a student of the
center, Miss Priti Rana shared her life changing experience with us.

“I was a usual mountain girl; going to school
for studies. After school help my mother in household chores, getting demoted
over other male siblings. I always have been a good student. Though at times I
used to think what I am & what I want to become! However, I matriculated
with good grades & opted for science stream.

Last year, I joined the NKN center at
Ghansali with a vision to equip myself with computer learning’s as it is a
necessity of today’s age of information. After completing almost 5 months at
the center, I came across to the entire different world of which I was unaware
of. Despite the fact I have not crossed Tehri yet but now, I can communicate
through emails with my friends who moved out of Tehri and are living in other
parts of the country. I am well versed with MS Office, use Skype & Facebook
to connect with friends, take Google’s help in my routine studies. I feel
extremely empowered now. In future, I am focused to become a computer engineer
which has been only possible after joining the center as the stepping stone
else I would not think of it.”

With the help of our visit, we came to
understand that it will be great to start with existing context & hone the
talents of rural youth & students in a way that they should be prepared
enough to adapt & perform well in their higher studies & all future
endeavors.

About NKN:- The NASSCOM Knowledge Network
(NKN) is a network of 174+ community telecentres across 13 states of India, in
partnership with 30+ NGOs, providing access to information and services related
to education, health and livelihoods to marginalized communities. See more at: https://www.nasscomfoundation.org/get-engaged/nasscom-knowledge-network.html#sthash.rkxIydTH.dpuf 

For more information please visit - https://www.nasscomfoundation.org/get-engaged/nasscom-knowledge-network.html

 - Hammad Abedin

NASSCOM Foundation