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Harshal and Himanshu Deshmukh are taking computers to rural schools in India, and helping them step into 21st century education with Project USHA.
Remember the days when you had computer classes in school and found about the Internet, HTML, and all related subjects? Guess what, most kids in rural areas are unfamiliar with the concept of computers, which goes on to highlight the status of education being provided to students in government schools there.
Only 6% of rural households had a computer according to the Education Survey conducted in 2014 (SCE, 2014). This statement may come as a shocker, but what’s more surprising is that merely 20% of government schools had computer facilities available in 2016 (ASER, 2016).
Do check out the stats given in the two links above. This makes one realize that IT education in Indian institutes and rural education itself still has a long way to go.
Which is the reason I greatly admire and praise the efforts made by Harshal and Himanshu Deshmukh. They started by teaching kids at the primary level to use computers, which later spread to other areas as well.
This documentary shot by Bhagyashree Khandare won the Most Impactful Video Award at the 2017 Orange Flower Awards.
Project USHA collaborated with the Indian Institute of Technology – Mumbai, which was a crucial opportunity that proved to have many benefits. As we look at the conditions that are present in the Agriculture industry today, this is a move which made the lives of farmers easier. I also came to realize that this survey was beneficial both ways, as the volunteers were able to collect data and also learned about the usage of computers.
The step that I admired the most was introducing computer technology to government employees for collecting data on malnutrition as they had the facility of computers available, but not the knowledge of its use. A collaboration with UNICEF and two days later, these people were ready to conquer all challenges.
In the duo’s own words, “After five years, we want to introduce IT education to 1 lakh students in eight states of India.”
We hope that Project USHA will continue to garner public support, and head towards a successful future.
Image source: Vimeo