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 Wednesday, 09 March 2011
In an attempt to bridge the digital divide, the Sanchar Shakti scheme envisages creating ICT skills among rural women by providing useful information to women about health, social issues and government schemes over their mobile phones. The scheme seeks involvement of women Self Help Groups for its successful implementation.

President Pratibha Patil on Monday launched DoT-USOFs' pilot project Sanchar Shakti, which aims to provide useful information to women, about health, social issues and government schemes over their mobile phones.

The scheme, which is funded by Department of Telecom's (DoT) Universal Service Obligation Funds (USOFs), is for mobile value-added services and information and communication technologies (ICT) related livelihood skills for Women's Self Help Groups.

"The scheme is initiated as a gender budget scheme, it adopts an innovative approach to connect rural women with the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector, by involving women Self Help Groups (SHGs)," Patil told reporters.

It will also serve the purpose of increasing the tele density, as well as broad band connectivity in rural areas, enabling them to join the cyber community and in this way, bridge the digital divide, states the details of the scheme.

With the creation of ICT skills sets in rural areas, over a period of time, these areas can become centres for the consumption and production of various ICT goods and services, including hubs for processing outsourced work, it added.

Patil added, "Real development cannot take root if it bypasses women, who represent the very pivot around which social change takes shape."

(Source:One world South Asia News)

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