TEWFI targets the local community, where previously there was no immediate access to information regarding Health, Education, Employment, Farming or Fishing, which is crucial for community development. This was due to a lack of awareness among the community but also due to a lack of technology. This meant the development of the community was impede as members were unable to effectively or efficiently complete tasks. Correct information can provide a stimulus for ideas, allowing people to choose better, more appropriate options. It can also help them find experts in the relevant areas. Before the input of TEWFI and initiation of the Village Knowledge Centre, the community was informally provided with information that was available to us via online and offline sources.
MS Swaminathan Research Foundation is an expert in the project and has established Village Knowledge Centres all over Tamil Nadu and other States. TEWFI wanted to share in their expertise whilst setting up the project in Edaikazhinadu Panchayat. A good rapport has been established between TEWFI and the MS Swaminathan research Foundation and a data base has been shared.
Official inauguration of the project occurred at the Vicki Standish e-Education Centre on 28.09.2009. After the project inauguration, people from all around Edaikazhinadu Panchayat came to the centre and accessed information which is vital for community development. For activities run and organised by the Foundation, Social Workers access information through the Village Knowledge Centre and disseminate it into the community.
An alternative way to disseminate information is when people come to the centre, they are provided with references through appropriate sources. If the data is not available offline, it is obtained through the internet resources. Sometimes experts in the field are consulted to obtain relevant information. Some examples of the nature of information provided through our Village Knowledge Centre is examination results for the School and University students, filling and tracking of online passport applications, employment news, Health information, College directories, e-ticket booking, PNR enquiry and typing of resumes or petitions etc.
Success stories: A 12th Std student who came to the Computer Center and volunteered at VSeEC had ambition for Higher Studies. His ambition was to undertake a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He had no idea about the universities that offered this course. He was also unable to afford to pay for the course. He was able to access information for his Higher Education through Village Knowledge Center Data Base. He also has accessed information for applying for an educational loan. He joined in a college with the information accessed from VKC and received guidance from the staff. He is now doing the course by accessing the Education Loan offered under Education Schemes of the Government.
Another youth was looking for employment. He was attending the Spoken English Programme organized at VSeEC. He accessed information regarding the employment opportunity in Air India. All the formalities like filling in the application and applying for the posting were done at VSeEC. All the information regarding the interview process was given. He was also given all the guidance for the preparation. He cleared all the formalities and now he has joined as a security agent in Air India.
We have also been maintaining the list of beneficiaries. Click here to view the list of beneficiaries through this centre.