Friday, November 21, 2008

A week long journey to hightech rural Nepal

It was unexpected but very pleasant surprise for me to receive a call from Basanta Dai (http://basantashrestha.blogspot.com) asking me if I could manage time to go to Nangi for follow-up training of PAN localization, a project by MPP (Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya: http://madanpuraskar.org/). I needed to teach the trainees about Blogging and CMS.


But then I was a bit hesitant since I needed to miss college for at least 10 days. I talked about this to Suraj, Manish and Shishir Dai. Everyone said that I should go. And so I was ready for a lifetime experience.

We started our journey from Kathmandu on Nov. 17 and had a night stay at Beni. The next morning we had to trek for 10 hours to reach our destination, Nangi. It has been the most difficult trek of my life till date but such a beautiful place is worth every pain.
The view of Annapurna South, Annapurna II, Dhaulagiri, Gurja Peak all make you feel like a heavenly creature.

While you trek, you wonder if you would even find salt at such a place, you will be amazed that most of the villagers use VOIP as the sole telephony medium. Most of them are good at emailing, chatting and you would find most of the communication in the neighbouring villages taking place through forum on a local webpage. What more, they have a tele-medicine centre.
I was really stunned to see this hightech village. And despite this all, they are so friendly to you.

The training was arranged by ENRD (E-Network Research and Development). Uttam Sir and Ambika Madam from ENRD accompanied us.

While Basanta Dai needed to discuss the new features in Nepalinux 3.0 like Text-to-speech, Nepali Sabdakosh, Nepali spell checker in Open office as well as GIMP, English/Nepali Wikipedia, Web Domain Registration, I was assigned the task of teaching Blogging and Website building using CMS. I chose Drupal (http://www.drupal.org).

From the next day, we had to start the training session. And, it was supposed to be a 9 day training session.

The trainees (or probably I say trainers since it was a Training of Trainers programme) were from 5 different locations namely: Krishna Sir, Kishan Sir and Boj Sir from Nangi (Myagdi), Sete Sir and Yamshree miss from Shikha (Myagdi), Narayan sir and Amrit ji from Tolka (Kaski), Shivaram Sir from Dandagaun (Rasuwa) and Chhanu Sir from Jhuwani (Chitwan).

In these 9 days, we got along very well with everyone and it was all fun inside and outside the class. We would take classes from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM with an hour break and would then go for walk around village.What more, we also got to participate in the traditional Magar dance. I am glad that I got to experience all this.

In the meanwhile, Amar Sir from MPP joined us on training on 8th day while on his way to Ghorepani with his friends. We organized a small feedback session. And it was pretty good that we received good remarks about the training from the participants. Only the complaint that the participants had was that the curriculum in schools had to be Vendor independent so that they themselves had the opportunity to use Nepalinux regularly and teach their pupils. We assured that we would do the best we can. By the way, let me bring it to your notice that we are already putting the curriculum issue before CDC (Curriculum Development Committee) and I am taking charge on this front on behalf of FOSS-Nepal.

By the end of the training, the participants from the centers had developed the center's respectives sites. The following are the links to the sites:

Dandagaun -- http://dandagaun.com.np

Jhuwani -- http://jhuwani.com.np

Nangi -- http://nangi.com.np

Shikha -- http://shikha.com.np


Tolka -- http://tolka.com.np


Well, I have a lot to say, but let photos express it in a better way.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jitendra-pic/sets/72157609561027757/

4 comments:

farustar said...

amazing indeed

Uttam K Acharya said...

It is a good article about our tour. I found every things are coverage in your article. But I think you try to ignore the E-Networking Research and Development, I want to clear that the training is organized by MPP and ENRD together and enrd team also involve the training. I read your whole article , which is post in blog, every thing try to coverage with out ENRD and its team. I am really sorry if any thing elce

Jitendra Harlalka said...

Uttam ji, there was no deliberate intention of ignoring ENRD. I really appreciate the tasks done by ENRD in empowering the real Nepal.

But let me clarify that this blog entry is not an official report. It is just a blog entry of my personal experience.

And to be frank, I was short of words, hence I have tried making the photo descriptions as explicit as possible.

And on personal note, I appreciate your friendly gesture towards everyone during the tour.

Anyway, I have edited the article to include a credit for ENRD.

I hope I do justice with my writeup this time.

bokey said...

I think it'd be fair to call Nangi as technical rural community of Nepal.. Great stuff indeed! Thanks for posting Jitendra dude!! :-)