Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motors once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Last week in NeGD, we learnt an important lesson – achievement is often known anonymous. Everyone is contributing, silently, un-noticed. We had the opportunity to meet a group of students from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, who were silent yet determined, and they were subtly taking the dream of Digital India to the masses. In the Government, everyday, we deal with a deluge of ideas and some of them are really good. But, this group of students was doing something that is –often– just talked about – in most of the conferences and global environmental discussions. So, what was it that really got us glued to this idea? Well, their idea was simple, feasible and it was working towards the empowerment of people. They were collecting the e-Waste from various sources, revaluing them, training rural women in e-Services, giving them revalued hardware for providing e-Services and opening the villages to vast and amazing array of Internet and e-Services. So simple and so subtle! They are indeed one of those thousands of unsung heroes of Digital India. Currently, the project is running in 15 villages of two states and the group is actively looking for support. Upon a detailed discussion with these energetic youngsters and realizing their energy and passion gave us hope that with or without Government support, Digital India is moving forward. The rollout of Digital India workshops in 100 Universities was a festival of sorts. Be it Northeast or the coasts or the far North, students travelled from as far as 200 km to participate and learn more about the program. The passion and excitement with which students participated in activities like skit presentation, quiz, poster making and idea generation, it’s just awe-inspiring. The images from these workshops speak and motivated us to do more on this front; perhaps one more reason why Digital India is a lot different than other Government run programs. Digital India is essentially a program for the youth that functions irrespective of the cast, creed, sex and skills. India is a young nation and all of us talk about transforming India. But how will it happen? Who will do it? It’s none other than these youngsters. Some may contribute to this transformation to this journey as suppliers of new and innovative digital services and other may consume this and will help to create new market for such services. In either way, India will grow and move forward. These stories are not from the moon. They are from within this society and they are a living example of how simple people do wonders. Some of the greatest things are done by people about we have never heard of. There are thousands of youth who are silently fueling the power of Digital India. As a part of team Digital India, I personally feel it is our responsibility to hunt for un-noticed talent and to acknowledge it. Such stories are there for us to understand that simple efforts can make big differences. It is our endeavor to find and share such stories with you on a regular basis and acknowledge the real builders of Digital India. You are cordially invited to contribute to this mission by sharing the stories you have. Stories where some ordinary people, by using simple ideas and IT have transformed the lives of many – silently and un-noticed!
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