Project: Computer Literacy Center at Basera-e-Tabassum
Location: Srinigar, Jammu and Kashmir
Category: Education and Empowerment
Computer Literacy Center
“The armed insurgency that broke out in 1989 has had a devastating effect on the normal life of people living in Kashmir. The number of orphans in Kashmir mushroomed dramatically . . . tens of thousands of people have been killed, and an estimated 10,000 disappeared during the past 25 years of the armed rebellion. . . .”
–from BWF’s IDS grant application
IT knowledge is vital to the success of any country, but the cost of attaining computer skills prevents the poor, orphans, and underprivileged children from gaining this in-demand vocational know-how.
Borderless World Foundation (BWF) proposed to offer IT training to orphans and underprivileged girls at the Computer Literacy Center in the Basera-e-Tabassum (“Abode of Smiles”) Foster Care Home. The training is designed to help these children become self-reliant and to increase their access to job opportunities. The targeted beneficiaries are students from rural areas, mainly girls and young women living in militancy-infested areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Most of them have lost one or both parents and reside in foster care homes run by BWF.
Borderless World Foundation’s Computer Literacy Center is the first project in Jammu and Kashmir to receive IDS funding. The grant was used to buy 11 computers and a projector to set up a computer lab at the Basera-e-Tabassum Home. BWF used the first installment of funds to purchase the equipment but, unfortunately, after these purchases, there wasn’t enough money left to hire a tutor. The lab manager and a program officer stepped in and volunteered to teach the basics of computer science to the 40 girls who are now using the lab. Internet access is available 12 hours a day, and students use this to prepare school assignments and to stay up to date on current events around the world.
In the future, BWF plans to add several more computers to the lab at Basera-e-Tabassum. Professional staff will be hired and trained, and community involvement in the project will be sought. Goals for the future include:
- A modern computer lab with the capacity to train a class of 30 students
- Qualified IT trainers to teach a course syllabus covering Windows, Microsoft Office, database management systems, networking, and Internet
- Relationships with local businesses for training assignments
IDS Coordinators: Jatinder Bedi and Nila Vora
Project Manager: Adhik Kadam
–2017 IDS annual report