Mr. Anand Tawker, General Manager-Asia Pacific Region, e-inclusion and Emerging Market Solutions, Hewlett-Packard, Vancouver, USA and Mr. A.Sharat, Project Officer,

Information and Communication Technology 4 Development


    Introduction

    There are “Six Cs” determining whether the Internet will reach India’s villages and stay.

    • Current – Alternative power supply in areas without electricity
    • Communication – Connectivity to internet and online resources
    • Content – Information on local specific knowledge and in the local language
    • Community – Prioritizing peoples’ needs for their development
    • Commerce – Financial sustainability and viability
    • Capacity building – Building knowledge or skills resources among the community

    World Corps India focuses on the aspect of capacity building.

    Information poverty

    In a country of 1 billion and more in India, the poor people of the rural areas are the last to get priority information on various subjects, which would enable better access to basic needs, educational and financial resources. Moreover, migration of young people from rural to urban areas in search of opportunities deprives the rural communities of the energies and brain resources of such young people. WCI adapts a two-pronged strategy, which provides information to the rural communities while providing gainful employment to rural unemployed youth who own, operate and manage “Community Information Centres" (CICs) which provides sustainable and affordable ways of getting information to poor communities that are very critical to both an individual’s and a community’s development. Access to information resources also represents new opportunities for agriculture, economic development, education, health and environmental protection in the rural areas.       

    To achieve this, the CIC projects focuses on:-

    • Training promising young leaders from rural areas – in Computers & Internet, Developmental English, Community Outreach and Development skills, Entrepreneurship Development, Business Management, Marketing and Communication skills, Personality Enhancement and Value Education.
    • Launching the young people into community-based businesses called as Community Information Centres (CICs) providing information, communications and other allied services.
    • Partnering the young people with existing government agencies, private businesses and community based organizations for effective application of ICTs in underserved communities.
    • Replicating the CIC model throughout India to reach a larger number of unemployed rural men and women.

    Kuppam CIC Project

    World Corps India’s (WCI’s) experience in its project in Kuppam, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh provided important lessons for exploring the potentials ICT has for generating employment in the rural areas of India. The model that WCI attempted focused on capacity building of the youth, which enabled them to create a micro-enterprise - “Community Information Centres” for their economic sustenance, while meeting the communication and information needs of the communities in small towns, villages and habitations.

    The Community Information Centre is a hybrid model combining the provision of G2C – Government to Citizen services, B2C – Business to Citizen services and C2C – Civil Society Organizations to Citizen services and information and communication services all under one roof. The CIC functions both on behalf of the community, the government and the private agencies in providing information services that caters to the underserved communities by using IT-enabled Communication Technologies. Apart from taking the benefits of ICT to the underserved communities, this project has created an opportunity for sustainable and meaningful employment for the unemployed youth of rural areas. Empowering the youth with the necessary knowledge, skills and awareness has also enabled them to take leadership roles to bring in other value additions to their communities.

    Project site – Kuppam

    Government of Andhra Pradesh


    Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr.N.Chandra Babu Naidu (middle) and Executive Director, World Corps, Seattle, USA, Mr.Dwight Wilson,(first from left) interacting with the CIC entrepreneurs during the launch of the CICs at Kuppam


    With the support of Government of Andhra Pradesh, World Corps India facilitated setting up of 15 Community Information Centres (CICs) at the 5 Mandal Headquarters of Kuppam Constituency, Chittoor District. Kuppam Constituency comprises of 5 mandals/blocks of Kuppam, Gudupalli, Rama Kuppam, Santhi Puram and Venkatagiri Kota.

    The project has trained 25 underserved youth.
    The CIC’s are functioning well and have started repaying their loans. World Corps India continues to monitor the CICs performance and provide demand-based interventions to the entrepreneurs of the CICs for business sustainability.

    Hewlett Packard


    Mr. Anand Tawker, General Manager-Asia Pacific Region, e-inclusion and Emerging Market Solutions, Hewlett-Packard, Vancouver, USA and Mr. A.Sharat, Project Officer, Kuppam Area Development Authority, Kuppam launching the CIC at Mallanur, Kuppam,


    Hewlett Packard and World Corps India worked together in Kuppam to expand the CICs to Gram Panchayat headquarters spread over the five mandals of Kuppam Constituency in Chittoor District. Hewlett Packard provided the technology inputs, services and solutions while World Corps India provided the human resources and business development training to the owners, managers and operators of the CICs.

     

    Past Partners, Donors & Supporters
    World Corps, USA
    IDRC, Canada
    Hewlett Packard
    Government of Andhra Pradesh
    Grameen Technology Centre

Poverty is multi-sided due to lack of opportunity and empowerment among low-income groups of India.World Corps India is concerned about poverty, particularly the lack of access to opportunities and skills especially among women of the low income groups in India.