24 November, 2020

In a Delhi slum, the kids and the geeks point the mouse at a new future

In a Delhi slum, the kids and the geeks point the mouse at a new future
It’s about righting the wrongs, in their own little way. While the parents tramp the streets of Delhi, these children have initiated something which could eventually—many years from now—get them out of a wretched life in the slums. On the face of it, the leap to "cyberspace" may look too huge a bridge to cross, but the children of the Sant Ravidas basti in Delhi’s Vikaspuri are learning faster than many others that computers are not merely about "video games".

For now, the efforts of the 80-odd kids at Kislay, a CRY-supported project, are restricted to learning how to shut down the monitor, and moving the mouse around the screen. Before trawling the web, it has to be English first. And helping them learn more about vowels and consonants is a group of software developers who have been taking three-hour classes every Saturday and Sunday since last May. As Devender Khari, self-confessed computer geek at Cadence Design Systems, Delhi, says: "A good foundation in English is a must before we expect the children to go on to computers. We all know the level of English in...



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