ICT4D and Slumdog Millionaire

What’s the connection?

Well, according to a report by Shubhajit Roy in  Express India, Vikas Swarap (whose first novel Q and A provided the basis for the film Slumdog Millionaire) says that he was “was inspired by the hole-in-the-wall project, where a computer with an internet connection was put in a Delhi slum. When the slum was revisited after a month, the children of that slum had learnt how to use the worldwide web. … That got me fascinated and I realised that there’s an innate ability in everyone to do something extraordinary, provided they are given an opportunity. How else do you explain children with no education at all being able to learn to use the Internet. This shows knowledge is not just the preserve of the elite,” Swarup said, while talking about the project, in which NIIT chief scientist Dr Sugata Mitra had carved a ‘hole in the wall’ that separated the NIIT premises from the adjoining slum in Kalkaji in 1999. Through this ‘hole’, a freely accessible computer was put out for use and with no prior experience, the children learnt to use the computer on their own

A similar report, by Vikas Swarup, was also published in the My Week section of the UK’s Sunday Times on 18th January 2009


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