Students at a workshop organised at National Metallurgical Laboratory last year
Jamshedpur-based Digital Literacy Mission, an innovative e-learning network for poor children founded by scientists of National Metallurgical Laboratory (NLM) and city philanthropists in 2011, has found a national platform.
The mission is participating in the regional round of India Innovation Initiative, popularly known as i3 exhibition, at Bengal Engineering and Science University in Shibpur, Howrah, on Friday.
The exhibition is a joint initiative of Agilent Technologies Ltd, department of science and technology (DST) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to promote young innovators and facilitate marketing of their innovations.
The mission has been chosen from among hundreds of entries that came in from across the eastern region.
“We applied for i3 in August and got a confirmation on September 18. Our participation in such an event is of utmost significance as it will provide us exposure and an opportunity to build a larger network,” said Mita Tarafder, senior principal scientist at CSIR-NML who had floated the mission with like-minded scholars and academics in July 2011.
Mritinjoy Bhattacharjee, a member of NGO Cause For Change that supports the mission, will represent the organisation at the exhibition.
He will demonstrate before a jury panel how the mission started with 30 children two years back and is now providing digital lessons to around 200 pupils from humble backgrounds, through 25 facilitators and 30 tutors across eight centres in Jharkhand and Bengal.
From math to music, theatre to computers, etiquette to fine arts, the mission is producing all-rounders — so what if most them live in slums.
If the jury comprising eminent industry bodies, scientists, business management experts and government representatives are impressed, the mission will get a chance to showcase its projects at a national exhibition in New Delhi.
The top five innovations at i3 are awarded with a certificate and cash prizes. However, Tarafder and team feel that recognition and exposure holds much more value than a cash award.
“Digital Literacy Mission is not a service or a product which we want to copyright. It is an idea that we want to spread for nation building. If anybody else wants to start this with a different name, they are welcome but all we need is a share of the recognition,” said Tarafder.