Baran : Residents of Jungle go WiFi
Sahariyas or the residents of the jungle are a tribe that live in the Baran district of Rajasthan in India. The indices for Baran district tell a story of their own. Eighty five percent of the population of Baran is rural. More than 60 percent of the women are illiterate. More than forty percent of the million strong population is tribal. These tribal peoples of Baran are largely illiterate. Many of them are nomadic homeless, bonded labourers. They eke out a living on a day-to-day basis. This does not mean that there are no opportunities for the Sahariyas and the other tribal people of the Baran district. The major problem is that news of opportunities and openings rarely reach them. Like many other rural and remote areas, information is a biggest casualty. It hardly ever gets through to the people who need it the most. Illiteracy, poverty, lack of identity, subjugation, and exploitation have collectively oppressed the Sahariyas and the other tribals in Baran. Most people outside the area are not even aware of the Sahariyas existence, as they live in a media dark geography. However, things have begun to change quite dramatically. Vijoy Roy, who is in his early 20s, is a Sahariya tribal youth who got bitten by the Broadband Internet in 2010. He was working with a local NGO when he heard about Wireless for Communities project of Internet Society (ISOC) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). He joined the training and learnt about wireless networking, routers, modems, line of sight, mapping geo locations, planning networks etc. Now as a lead barefoot Wireless Network Engineer, Vijoy has helped establish 8 major nodes all across Baran, some of them as far as 40 kilometres from each other. All the nodal points have facilities like video conferencing, telehealth, video cameras, web cam, projectors, printers, scanners and availability of more than 45 MBPS of broadband. Now, the broadband wireless Internet connectivity has already benefited at least 2,000 Sahariya tribals through digital literacy, vocational programs, tele-health programs, and entrepreneurial skill building.
Mr. Osama Manzar
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Sudlon National High School: From Cardboard Computers Towards Internet Connectivity
Sudlon National High School, a school located in a remote mountainous area in Cebu City, Philippines. It tells a story of a currently enrolled student (JJ) and a former student of the school and now a teacher (Bines) who shared their experiences on how the use of internet created a big impact in their education and further learning. Broadband wireless internet was only introduced in the year 2009 by CVISNET Foundation a blessing and opportunity unexpected. At present, the school served as a gateway of internet connection for the entire community. The beginning of dreams coming to reality for the once digitally disadvantaged community.
Mr. Jeffrey N. Llanto