TECH TALK: India Post: Ideas for Tomorrow: The Story of Nayapur (Part 4)
As Ganga makes her way to the Post Office, she thinks about how her school too has undergone a change. As part of a joint initiative by India Post and the government’s Vidya Vahini project, her school now has 5 computers, which connect to the India Post office. It is now mandatory for every student to learn computers. From an early age, they learn how to send and receive email, how to search for information on the Web, and how to use a word processor and spreadsheet. India Post has been working with various content providers to make available education-related content on the local servers at the post office. What surprised Ganga was the great proactiveness shown by the students in using computers. All the students (and their parents) now saw knowledge of computers as a passport to a better and brighter future.
At the Post Office, Ganga updates Mataji’s production details into the Intranet website. She takes a printout of the accounts statement for Mataji. She also takes a printout of the recipe which she had seen earlier in the day. She also uses the Post Office’s IP Telephony network to do a voice chat with her friend who is away in the city.
As Pitaji and his family is relaxing after dinner, Vijay comes in. Vijay is a good friend of Gautam. He is from the neighbouring village. He has become an insurance agent for LIC. He has rented a Simputer (a hand-held computer) from India Post, and is going door-to-door selling insurance policies. He sits with Pitaji and Ganga and enters all their information for the new policy he has sold them on his PDA. He will then take the PDA to the India Post Office the next day and upload the information to the LIC website.
At night, Gauri logs in to the computer to see her next assignment. Seeing her, Pitaji tells Mataji how the students of their village are becoming smarter. Mataji agrees, saying that these computers, which used to be once just thrown away by the world, along with India Post have given new hope for the next generation, and for India. Pitaji tells Mataji that just today morning he was reading in the newspaper that India Post is now planning to introduce basic computer education classes at the local Post Offices, and Mataji should get some of her friends in the village to register. Each one of us should be not just literate, but computer-literate, says Pitaji. All this is happening thanks to the initiatives taken by the Post Office. For Nayapur, the Post Office has been the equaliser providing better quality of life, eliminating the barrier of distance, offering a wider set of opportunities and connecting it to the world. The best part of what is happening is that there is a momentum which will ensure that tomorrow is going to be even better than today, thinks Pitaji, as he closes his eyes.
This dream can become a reality with today’s technologies. All the components to create 150,000 Nayapurs exist. Imagination and determined execution can make India Post the e-business utility in the lives of Indians everywhere.
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