Fish and silicon chips do make a great combo!
Fisher women who sell processed dry fish will soon start getting messages in their mailbox about the latest stuff on sale. Devised to reduce the digital divide among the rural and the urban populace, this novel initiative of the Kerala State IT mission involved a 45 day free training of over 100 women from the fishermen community in Poovar, near the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.
Though the organisers were skeptical whether this project will be a success, they were truly elated by the tremendous response from the fisher women. Over one hundred women between the ages of 18 and 30 participated in the first phase of this programme. More women have expressed their interest in undergoing the training, which will now be carried forward by the Poovar panchayat to be followed by the other panchayats across the state.
The programme involves basic hands-on training of the internet apart from basic English teaching, which was conducted in association with the Erikavila Vanita Sangham. Poovar has always been famous for its potential in tourism and fishing, and many women who attended the programme felt that if they could pick up some basic English, it will give them a distinct advantage. Though this programme was initiated for the benefit of fish mongers, the participants also included students and house wives who were keen to keep abreast with the latest technological advancements.
The programme conducted with faculty support from the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) proved a great success and demonstrated that age or profession cant be a hindrance in pursuing learning. Of the 95 women who took the examination at the end of the course, 15 passed with distinction and 64 bagged first class.
Kerala has created yet another mile stone in promoting literacy by adopting those novel programme which took the fisher women into the exciting world of chips and circuits!