Clicking their way to a brighter future

Kalpetta, Wayanad, 7 Nov 2008

Young Manikanden stares intently at his computer and then clicks the mouse.  This twenty-year-old tribal boy is clicking his way to a brighter future.  His is taking a Business Office computer course offered by the Village Resource Center in Kalpetta.   He has been working as a day laborer, but with this course under his belt, he is confident that he can bag an office job.

There is a keen interest in this low-cost course, located on the premises of the Amrita Kripa Charitable Hospital-Kalpetta.  The first batch of 22 students is now getting ready to complete the approximately fifty-hour course and there is a long waiting list for the next batch.    The dedicated teachers, Mr. Sujith and Mr. Mukundan say that the students are highly motivated and attend class punctually and consistently.  They particularly enjoy their work, as they know the course will uplift segments of the tribal community that are struggling financially.

Eighteen-year-old Rajani is also confident she will have the skills to manage a computer in an office or shop.  Like most of the other students, she had only had computer theory in school and no experience using an actual computer.  She is grateful to be gaining valuable skills that would have been impossible without this course.  At the end of the course, the students will have an exam certificate in hand.

The Kalpetta center is one among many centers in the Amrita-ISRO VRC network. {news} In addition to the computer classes, the center offers a popular series of teleconferencing classes.  The topics center on agriculture and health issues.  Agricultural topics include biodiversity, organic farming and water management.   Health education sessions have included HIV-AIDS prevention, TB prevention and detection, hypertension and diabetes prevention and treatment, as well as information on the dangers of waterborne diseases.

When the students bent over their keyboards, the attentive instructors keep an eye out for any difficulty.   Such a simple, small program seems likely to make a big difference in the futures of many young people in the area.

– Tulasi