January 21 2016

Bridging the Digital Divide in India

Karuna-Shechen is helping to bridge the digital divide in India by offering free computer training to women and underprivileged youths. The program, started in 2014, provides six-month training courses conducted in our new vocational center in Bodhgaya, Bihar.

DSC06159-2Over 168 students have already graduated, and, in March,  80 more will have completed their training. The majority of our students are young adults who come from disadvantaged families in nearby villages.

In return for this free training, the participants donate five hours of their time each week to benefit their community or village. They volunteer to help raise awareness of environmental issues, coach young students, plant trees, and do other good work.

Gourav Kumar took our six months Desk Publishing course in 2014. In exchange, he helped 15 children from his village improve their studies. Our training course changed  Gouvar’s life:

After completing the program, I was able to open a printing studio in Bodhgaya,” he explains. “It was my dream for a long time and Karuna-Shechen made it possible. Now, I even own my own business!

DSC06172Sunil, 18, one of our current students, hopes that this program will teach her skills that will open up new opportunities:

“There is a computer for every student in the class, so we all get a lot of hands-on practice,”  she told us. “We have an experienced teacher and the course offers both theory and practical classes. And, the ambiance among the trainees is very good!”

The program includes courses in General Computing (MS Office, Basic Internet and basic hardware) and Desktop Publishing  (Page Maker, Corel draw and basic Photoshop). Given their popularity, and that of our other vocational training courses, we opened a new vocational center in Bodhgaya in 2015 to accommodate the increasing number of  trainees.

A desk-top computer typically costs 450USD, a computer desk and chair  230USD. Help us bridge the digital divide by donating on our website. Thank you.