The fingers that deftly packaged pickles, snacks, detergents and household items will soon be typing keyboards, clicking the mouse and sending faxes.More than two dozen members of women's self-help groups in Tamabaram distrcit of Tamil Nadu took an important step towards financial independence when they attended the first day of a 12-day training programme on setting up information kiosks.
The programme, held at Sri Sai Ram Engineering College, is conducted by the Centre for Empowerment of Women, Anna University, and Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women Limited (TNCDW). Lecturers from the college will train the women on basic concepts of computing, and applications such as MS-Word, MS-Excel, use of Internet, desk top publishing and Tally apart from operating photocopiers and fax machines.
The women were shown a short film made by students of the Department of Media Science, Anna University. It details the success story of T. Sukanya, a young woman, who attended a similar training programme and set up an information kiosk at her village near Periyakulam in Theni district.
After the training, the TNCDW will offer financial assistance to the women to set up the kiosks, says Ms. Hemalatha. The women attending the programme said they were looking forward to it.
S. Lalitha of Nanganallur said she was attending the programme with four others from the `Thaamarai' self-help group. They plan to set up an information kiosk jointly. Stating that the group members were already making household items, she said they were eagerly looking forward to running the kiosk.
Staff from the college said it might be initially tough for many of the women to learn the basic concepts of computing, but after a couple of days, they would feel comfortable. S. Seetharaman, Principal, said the college was planning to start a cell of the Anna University's Centre for Empowerment of Women.