All this hype which computers have made in our daily life today does not seem to be for nothing. Actually, if we look at ourselves and try to analyze our day-to-day activities, we would be able to track down quite a number of hours that we spend on the computers for some or the other purpose.
Although, the 'Home PC'
, one in every home, is hardly far from reality, we would still find a large majority of rural population still unaware of what a computer is!
So while computer education has entered in the early stages of our education system, there still seems to be a kind of unacceptance for the technology among the elders.
I recently heard of a noble project, rather an experiment
initiated by Dr. Sugtha Mitra of NIIT , India
to place a high configuration Pentium computer with Internet enabled
, in the slum area
of Delhi, so as to gage the awareness and curiosity for computers specially among the rural children of those areas. Although, the hole-in-the-wall could not be caught by many eyes for a few days, but soon a highly encouraging response was received for the same.
Totally illiterate children
with supposingly no knowledge of even language, were seen howling over the PC trying to track the pointer movements on the screen with the help of touch pads.
Not only that, while tracking all the activities on the computer, it was observed that over within 6 months the children could open Internet Explorer and could even surf Disney.com
and related sites on the internet.
The project was then funded by the Indian government and it now runs successfully in many rural parts throughout the country and in other countries as well.
While the above story brings forth the fact that children have the capacity of self learning
, but it poses a new challenge that we face in helping them in satisfying their curiosities and to help them know the computer better.
In places where these computers have been placed, live such poor children whose parents cannot even afford to provide them with proper food 2 times a day. They do not even have proper clothing a or shelter.
An initial step has been taken to burn a candle of knowledge among these dark areas. The responsibility further lies with each one of us of taking an initiative to extend a helping hand to those children and provide them guidance and support in learning further so that they can well appreciate this free unending source knowledge. Let us step into these places and hold hands of the young child who seeks information imparted with love and humanity.