Tuesday, Oct 01, 2002
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By R. Ravikanth Reddy
But the reality is otherwise. She knows the nuances of computer operation and is quite at ease with it. Whether it is clicking the mouse, browsing through the numerous sites or downloading some information, she is as good as any college-going student, despite the language barrier. Of course, she is more at ease with Telugu sites.
And the woman is one among the several people who represent the rapidly changing villages in the State, thanks to the promotion of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and such other schemes by the State Government for the uplift of the rural women. The latest benefit that accrued from the schemes is a computer centre that has come up in most of the villages.
The computer centre in this village, nestled amidst the agriculture fields, is put up at the Mutually Aided Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society Ltd (MACTCS). In terms of the number of systems, it may not boast of many. But the solitary system is enough to attract most of the semi-literate and literate villagers.
``It's not just learning Internet operations but many villagers have been trained in basic computer courses'', says, Bhoodevi, Director, MACTCS of Maheshwaram. The response has been tremendous since the idea of training women in computer courses was floated.
The women now check the day-to-day developments of their MACTCS on Internet apart from reading Telugu dailies and learning about the Government programmes launched for their benefit. "It's a thrilling experience to operate computer. Till a year back I never even thought of touching a computer but now I can even surf the net'', says, a member of a SHG from Maheshwaram.
However, they were lucky that the computer operator who was hired for the bank had shown interest in teaching the villagers apart from his work. But since he left the job for a better opportunity, the members themselves have taken up the task of teaching from whatever little knowledge they had gained.
The Project Director of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Srinivasa Raju, says that the computers installed for bank purpose are also being utilised for making the women computer-literate. Well, Internet is no more the domain of the urban and educated but the ruralites are fast catching on with the changing world.
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