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Farmers conquer the digital world

Staff Reporter

Sreekantapuram to be declared fully e-literate today


  • Over 65 per cent of the learners are women
  • Participants have gained e-literacy in 11 months

    KANNUR: What happens when the hands that plough the fields work on computers? Well, a rich harvest.

    Farmers in Sreekantapuram panchayat limits have proved that they can conquer the digital landscape. During their spare time, they became part of the Akshaya e-literacy initiative of the State Government and have secured for Sreekantapuram the distinction of being a fully e-literate panchayat, the first to achieve the norm in the second stage of the Akshaya project.

    Akshaya, being implemented in seven of the 14 districts in the State, has been taking e-literacy to the masses on an unprecedented scale in the country, with its grassroots-level learning model.

    5,300 families

    In Sreekantapuram, a typical village, 5,300 families spread over 19 wards participated in the project. All of them have achieved e-literacy.

    Akshaya could achieve not only 100 per cent e-literacy here but also women's empowerment, as over 65 per cent of the learners are women. They and other participants have gained e-literacy in 11 months.

    Health Minister to join

    They are now waiting for Saturday, when Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy will join them at a colourful function to witness a tribal learner, Chiyyayi, from Valliyad Scheduled Tribe (ST) colony, formally declare the panchayat fully e-literate.

    "Once the e-literacy programme is completed, the Akshaya centres will facilitate continuing education in computer and deliver various services, such as e-pay. Around 20 panchayats in the State are very close to achieving 100 percent e-literacy mark like Sreekantapuram," said T.K. Manzoor, Akshaya Director.

    Sreekantapuram is one of the few rural areas in the State with almost every family engaged in farming, the main crops being paddy, coconut and rubber.

    Akshaya has its own learning centres at Kanjileri, Kavumbayi and Nediyenga villages, forming part of the panchayat.

    The demand for the initiative was such that as many as 52 sub-centres had to be opened in different parts of the panchayat.

    Full e-literacy is also the product of the willingness of panchayat president M.C. Haridasan, his predecessor, P.V. Shobhana, and other people's representatives to experiment with the new technology and ceaseless effort by Akshaya entrepreneurs in the panchayat, A.M. Hamid Kutty, K.V. Prasanthan and Anusha Joseph. Mr. Kutty trained as many as 2,250 persons, setting a record.

    Kamblari and Valliyad in Sreekantapuram have earned a reputation by becoming two of the first ST colonies to become 100 per cent e-literate. As many as 142 people from 100 ST families in the colony had gained computer education, mostly after backbreaking work during the day. Among them were women who were otherwise illiterate.

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