Written by Nida Fatima
I have been travelling to Smartpur locations across the ten districts in India and this is a travelogue of my journey to the district of Nuh, Haryana where there are 10 Smartpur centres. Having connected with the district coordinator and the entrepreneurs of the ten centres on call I knew them, however, I was excited to meet them.
Around 11 am, we reached the Nuh Hub centre, in Tain village. As a humble gesture we were welcomed by the Smartpur team there. I witnessed the hard work that the team has put in to gain the confidence of the community in Nuh. Initially when the Smartpur project started in Nuh the community was extremely critical and apprehensive about the initiative. Slowly and surely the entrepreneurs and the district coordinators showed the community with their good work that their intentions indeed are pure.
I got the opportunity to interact with a few beneficiaries who have availed benefits from Smartpur’s ten centres. I met Nadeem, a 16-year-old student from Tain village. He said “I come to the Smartpur centre to learn about basic computer skills. I have learnt many tools; Microsoft Excel and Word being a few. With this knowledge I am able to help my younger sister in her education. I help her with her homework which she receives in her school.” I saw a spark in his eyes as he spoke and believed that this is the spark that keeps the Smartpur team motivated.
I also interacted with a bright 15-year-old student of STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) Zahida, from village Adambar. “I am making a scale model of our Smartpur Centre so that I can learn how to design buildings in future, where I can professionally help people with housing facilities.”
These interactions have been very enriching to see the difference that the continued efforts of Smartpur is bringing in the lives of the people. A general discussion with the people of Nuh, further narrates how helpful the establishment of the centre has been to them in their day-to-day lives. People do not have to go far to get a photocopy done, or make changes to the officially valid documents (OVD)
Shahid Samar Khan, the centre coordinator has been working tirelessly for digital inclusion, and providing digital knowledge to the most far-flung areas of Nuh. Following the mission of the Digital Empowerment Foundation, connecting the unconnected has been their first priority.