Gender and Education in Oral Traditions, Culture, and ICTs

Gender and Education in Oral Traditions, Culture, and ICTs

Chetan Sharma (Datamation Foundation Charitable Trust, India) and Y. R. Maindiratta (Datamation Foundation Charitable Trust, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-935-9.ch044
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Seelampur, situated in the northeastern part of Delhi, the capital city of India, is characterized by low-income groups, high population density and poor civic amenities. It is a Muslim-dominated area with a high density of population and low family incomes. The average monthly family income is about 60-80 United States (U.S.) dollars, and the average family consists of eight members. Within Seelampur, the area of Zaffarabad (having approximately 90% Muslim population) stands out as a pocket of extreme urban poverty and immensely poor living conditions; open drains are clogged with sewage, power breakdowns are frequent, houses are dilapidated and people are residing in overcrowded lanes. Lack of opportunities in terms of education and employment also mark the life for people here. Formal education has become quite common, and thus, enrolment is high, but dropping out at different grades is a continuing problem. Most young women have not completed high school, as they usually drop out of the school after finishing Grade 8. Datamation Foundation initiated some work in the area, particularly with women, in 2002. At this time, UNESCO launched a pilot initiative to innovate and research social and technological strategies to put information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the hands of the poor. This seemed a good opportunity in the given context, so an ICT center was set up at Zaffarabad. The initiative seeks to deploy ICTs to address urban poverty and is designed to empower the women of Seelampur.

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