Ever since Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg landed in India, he has been expressing a desire to see how the grassroots connect and what they look online when if they manage to connect at all. This curiosity took him to a little-known village in the Alwar district of Rajasthan on Friday, which many people thought was a surprise visit.
But, like his business, Zuckerberg is a careful planner for his community outreach plans as well. His California office had instructed the India office of Facebook to find out how Zuckerberg could connect with the Indian rural youth, the ones who are either not connected or are new users of of the Internet. Their search ended at the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), a Delhi based organisation that has a mandate to take Internet-based services to rural India. It runs Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC) in many parts of the country.
One such CIRC is in the Chandauli village of the district. The ‘surprise’ element in Zuckerberg’s visit to this village came not from the visit but from his expression and his constant refrain “It’s amazing” whenever he interacted with young boys and girls of the village. Chandauli does not have Internet connectivity. The nearest point where the DEF team could find Internet was seven kilometres away in Vijaymandir in Alwar. So, it installed a powerful Wi-Fi modem with a 4 MBPS connection there in February this year, which constantly beams signals to the Chandauli centre.
[Source: epaper.dnaindia.com, Oct 11, 2014]