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Dalit colony becomes e-literate

by admin last modified 2009-02-27 17:07

The Hindu

Dalit colony becomes e-literate

http://www.indiapress.org/gen/news.php/The_Hindu/400x60/0

When the erstwhile ruler Sreemoolam Tirunal donated two acres of land near Thripunithura for Dalits more than seven decades ago, he might not have imagined that many generations later the inhabitants of the place would make him proud in a rather unique way.

By becoming the first fully e-literate Dalit colony in Ernakulam district, the residents of the SMP colony at Eroor, near Thripunithura, had done just that. The formal announcement of this achievement is expected soon. The authorities are trying to bring Speaker K. Radhakrishnan for the occasion.

Akshaya initiative

Akshaya launched its e-literacy drive in the colony of 45 to 50 Dalit families in December 2006 by opening a centre at a local club, Colonia Arts and Sports Club. "The colony became fully e-literate by March when at least one member from each of these families undergoing computer training," Ashok Kumar, entrepreneur of the Akshaya centre, said. The colony is now planning to host the second phase of Akshaya, he said.

The centre drafted in Manju, a graduate with computer education and an inhabitant of the colony, as instructor to impart training to her fellow community members.

The younger generation in the colony are mostly educated, while majority from the older generation lacked proper education, Mr. Kumar said.

He said that the centre targeted mainly the latter category in keeping with the Akshaya's objective of providing training to people who otherwise had only limited chances to learn computer.

"Middle-aged housewives were the main beneficiaries while men and the youngsters doing daily labour underwent training after their working hours," he said. To make it convenient for these members of the community, the centre operated well beyond 10 p.m. on most occasions," he said.

The colony is situated in the land donated by the then ruler for Dalits with facilities for worship.

The Maharaja did this at a time when Dalits here were denied entry into temples even as their counterparts were granted the right in the then princely states of Travancore and Malabar, a local resident said.

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