Jency Jacob, CNN-IBN, Thursday , April 27, 2006
Mallapuram (Kerela): Think Kerala and tourism and literacy are the first things that come to mind.
However, there is another kind of literacy revolution that is taking the state by storm – e-literacy.
Leading the charge is Mallapuram district, once considered to be the most backward in the state.
Three years ago only 0.5 per cent of the district Mallapuram populace was computer literate. Now the figure stands at an impressive 50 per cent.
The turnaround has comes courtesy Akshya, an e-learning programme, started in 2003 by the state govt. And the biggest beneficiary of it are women.
Says a student of Akshaya, Shaheela K M, "This is much better than studying in a school Here we can learn how to operate a computer in detail and the instructors explain things well."
Another student Babita adds, "Both literate and illiterate people can enroll into this programme. At other places, you need minimum qualification but here everyone can get basic education."
This credit for the success of the programme goes to local panchayats, wards and politicians cutting across party lines.
More than 80 per cent Muslims live in Mallapuram.
And it is considered one of the most backward districts in Kerala.
The credit for this turnarount goes to
Says Mallapuram district panchayat member, K P Mariamma, "Everyone is e-literate here."
The project has not just empowered the local population, it has also created entrepreneurs who run these centres. The state is now starting this programme in seven more districts.
(With imputs from Abhirr VP)