| Mammootty: IT push
Thiruvananthapuram, Feb. 22: Mammootty has signed up as goodwill ambassador of the Kerala IT Mission to promote computer literacy in the state.
Promos featuring the four-time national award winner educating people on computer basics will soon flash on television screens. The actor will also participate in shows in the districts.
The mission, Akshaya, hit the headlines two years ago when the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district in north Kerala became the first in the country to achieve universal computer literacy.
It bagged last year’s Golden Nica award ' an annual prize awarded by Ars Electronica, a major centre for art and technology ' for the world’s best digital community.
The project aims at replicating Malappuram in the rest of Kerala’s 13 districts by 2007. The target is that at least one member from each of the nearly 6.5 million families in the state would by then be able to use a computer.
Entrepreneurs are being given incentives to set up Akshaya kendras ' one-stop centres that will provide government services and serve as computer training hubs.
Basic training in computers will be provided to everyone at a nominal cost. The Akshaya kendras will also offer intensive training in multimedia, data operations, software and hardware, for a fee.
Facilities for online payments, e-governance and digital communication will be made available.
Mammootty, in Dubai to shoot the second part of the Malayalam thriller Balram v Taradas, opposite Katrina Kaif, will join Akshaya on Saturday. “If benefits of IT reach the entire population of Kerala, we can develop to the level of any developed society in the world,” he said.
From the district centre at Kochi, he will interact with officials and journalists from all 14 districts through videoconference. Chief minister Oomen Chandy will launch the programme, Mammootty@Akshaya, from the capital at 2 pm.
Rosakutty, 106, the matriarch of a family of 56 in Kochi, would probably be the oldest student, adds PTI. She wanted to learn after seeing her grandchildren use computers.