Information and Communication Technology for Poor
The digital divide in accessing and using information and communication technology (ICT) between urban and rural, rich and poor, for profits and charities is ever increasing. DHAN Foundation has taken up 'ICT for the poor' as a new theme to experiment, develop and implement socially-relevant ICT programmes through ICT based people’s organisations built at the grassroots. It has become a cross-cutting theme to complement the microfinance, water, rainfed farming themes of DHAN. The programme is involved in the following activities:
- Promoting Thagavalagam Groups to provide ICT-based livelihoods, Village Information Centres (VICs) in rural areas as well as urban slums, so to provide various e-services such as e-mail, e-Post, computer-aided school education, e-Governance, etc.
- Facilitating the rural poor to get connected with the resources and expertise located distantly through online consultations for health, education, agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, and on legal issues.
- Enabling the aged and illiterate women and men to learn reading and writing through computer-aided adult literacy centres.
- Establishing community colleges to offer a number of ICT-related and job oriented courses to the poor youths and helping them to get employed in the nearby towns and cities.
- Developing content for educational use and developing software for agriculture and animal husbandry services, which are now being used by farmers in VICs.
- Promoting partnership with the other stakeholders such as ICT-based academic, research and business organisations to channelise resources and expertise to the grassroots.