Bridging the Digital Empowerment, Dantu, India

This programme consists of several smaller projects. First, it is to provide computer literacy to all people from all age groups in this village in Jharkhand, India. In the computer literacy program, they are able to learn some useful computer skills and internet based applications ranging from booking train tickets to filling up online application forms. In order to pay electricity bills, villagers have to travel to the nearest city (Bokaro, which is around 30 km away) and wait in a long line to pay the utility bill. Intermittent bus services to and fro to the nearest city adds another layer of complexity and inconvenience for the villagers. Although electricity bills can be paid online, lack of information (due to low literacy rate) and limited internet connectivity create major barriers for villagers and restrict them from using online services. In this case, it is very important to train them how to use computer and the internet based applications as it is becoming a basic human right in this digital era. 

Another project is providing leadership training to students and teachers of existing two schools of the village: Governmental High School and the Middle School. Quality of education in both schools are very low and both students and teachers are not very motivated towards education. As a result, dropout rate is very high particularly for class 8th and 9th students. Moreover, students who can finish till class 10th struggle to get admission in class 11th and 12th grades. Unsurprisingly, lower socio-economy condition and prevalent child-marriage play important roles in keeping students away from getting higher education. Education can be used as the most powerful tool to enhance the socio-economic conditions and empower villagers. In order to sensitize teachers and ignite passion for education among children, they are given training in the beginning. There are regular meetings every three month for all 50 mentors and mentees (40 students and 10 mentors) to discuss and assess the progress of the program. This works as a pilot project, and each step of the project is closely assessed  and feedback is effectively integrated. 

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