August 14, 2006

One website can go a long way

Shailaja Neelakantan takes issue with the widespread acclaim bestowed on a village in India that has posted a website. She points out that this and many other villages may lack basic amenities to be connected to the Internet or for that matter basic amenities, period. Being a romantic that I am, I see only positives: the Sarpanch of the village Panchyat and three other Panches are women; the team behind the whole effort is a woman. India may have had a woman Prime Minister and quite a few strong political leaders; but it is noteworthy that this had permeated to the village level. But more importantly, they proudly proclaim that three religions peacefully coexist in this small village. Yes it could be a sunny day and it could very well be a propaganda. But the Internet Transparency would ensure either the village checks any tendency to deviate from social tolerance or they risk of losing the bragging rights. Now think of many other villages following the lead of Handsdehar.

Posted by aswath at August 14, 2006 06:53 PM
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Comments

In early 2001 I had a business meeting with the CEO of Drishtee.com Satyan Mishra in Patna, Bihar, who was also one of the co-founders of the company that my then company was dealing with. At that time, he explained to me about his ambitious Drishtee.com project which was about connecting villages through Internet kiosks for many activities [plz refer to http://www.drishtee.com].

I remember Satyan telling me that though the plan was revolutionary, already there were similar projects going on.

I was impressed to say the least listening to his mega plan for which he was seeking VC at that time.

I am not sure how successful he was (though I must say that the project is still on and Satyan recently told me that Drishtee was doing 'great').

It is a coincidence that his other company actually created a portal called Fund a School [http://www.fundaschool.org]for a Madhya Pradesh government body called Rajya Shiksha Kendra. It is a channel through which philanthropists can donate and fund a village school. As far as I knew in 2001, it was a resounding success then.

Posted by: Jonty at August 16, 2006 02:19 AM



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