16 Sep 2009

E3 - 4: A Lesson from e-India 2009 Awards

Project E3 winning e-India award has a significant value to all Nenasala operators as it's the highest level of honor received by a Nenasala operator, who is in the bottom of the pyramid of Telecenter movement. As we have witnessed and experienced, Telecenter based ICT4D projects has to stand on ground, long before winning an award, it has to reach the grass roots to make the impact and initiate the change for Human development. With regards to the project E3, this last bit of activity was done by Telecenter Operators. Although they are in the bottom of the pyramid, their value creates rewards and fame for many.

The term "community involved" now need to change as "community owned" to provide a better meaning of empowerment. How can we transform good initiatives to become large impact objects? how can we share the ownership with those who participate and help others to rise? Murali Krishna is my example hero of this story, and there are others in Nenasala pipeline who could be world examples for Celebrating Telecenter Success.

E3 Acknowledges Photo credit to Dr. K. P. hewagamage, Head of E Learning , UCSC

The backgound story is here!

Project 'E3' submitted by Shilpa Sayura, Sri Lanka won one of the two awards, in Best Telecenter Civil Society Initiative of the Year category, at e India 2008 Awards, held in International Convention center, Hydrabad, India on August 26, 2009. Accepting the award speaking in Tamil Language, Murali Krishna said "The honor of this award goes not only to me, but to all Nenasala operators in Uva and Islandwide Nenasala" The thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa , ICTA, Shilpa Sayura and Nenasala Operators who supported this common E3 endure that improved Uva Telecenter Network sustainability from 2.6 SI to 5.1 in an year providing a new domain for Telecenter Development.

Project E3 formulated through Shilpa Sayura experiences and Knowledge shared by ICT4D experts from worldwide, field researched by through Uva Province Regional Impact Team (RIT) for Nenasala Telecenter M & E Assignment of ICTA. E3 provides an open participatory flatform for Telecenter Sustainability Development. E3 was presented in Telecenter Forum e-India 2009 and went to win an Award.

More on project E3 : opens a new window
More on project E3

Back to the story ...

Murali Krishna became known to us four years ago, a humble Nenasala operator with Tamil ethnic background, but he managed a Nenasala in a Buddhist temple becoming a good example of ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka. Working with our team he grew with shared knowledge and expertise, became a network leader in Project E3 and Shilpa Sayura.

As a result, He was apponted by ICTA as an ICT ambassador at 1st Nenasala Convention 2008 together with 19 others. He collborated in Shilpa Sayura pilot implementation, innovated revenue for Nenasala, partnered in sup scaling and replication in 150 Nenasala. He helped, motivated peer Nenasala operators, and won confidence as a leader; finally they selected him as their president of their community. a formal body formed by RIT M & E process. At elections he got equal votes but the Rev. Dhammasara Himi who had got equal number of votes said "Murali should be the president!". Making his first speech in Badulla, Murali Krishna said "Nenasala is my lifeline", it's local meaning says many things about him. When Murali Krishna took part in e-India 2009, he represented him peer community of Telecenter Operators, not him.

What exactly Project E3 and Shilpa Sayura did for Murali Krishna and his peer Nenasala Operators. In E3 the third 'e' stands for e leadership, youth development is one major aspect of e leadership. Project E3 & Shilpa Sayura created an enabling environment for Murali Krishna to emerge and we provided resources, guidence, training, opportunities and finally shared what we owned with him to unleash his potential and He rose to the top. I think it's the meaning of empowerment. Murali Krishna is only an example; Trust me, We have more leaders on the line up; It would have been great if we could support all of them to go e-India 2009, where people learn and emerge unleashing their full potential.

I remember e-India 2007, where Shilpa Sayura first crowned with i4D Award. It changed the whole dimensions of Shilpa Sayura and we went to the top taking 20 Telecenter pilot to 150 Telecenter knowledge network by now and now we not only create content for e learning but taken certain responsibilities for Nenasala development partnering with ICTA. I hope same thing will happen to Murali Krishna and his peers in time to come. Sri Lankan Telecenters are in a transition stage now, as the World Bank project is ending. But we have developed a safety net by empowering leaders of Nenasala, and we are confident that they have the will and potential to become Real Telecenter leaders of tomorrow provided some support is made available. One major component of that support is knowledge leadership and mentoring for upcoming leaders.

The lesson we learn from Murali Krishna’s case is that, real leaders are out there in bottom of the pyramid which most of us hardly feel or not see. It's time that we look at from bottom up on the subject of empowerment, and create more space for real leadership to rise and take better roles in Telecenter movement which is an open participatory model shared by all.

I learned that,

Acknowlegements :
Special thanks to CSDMS Team for Empowering those who were not known to the world,
Probbaly we community need to get together to give them a people Award!

Finally it was also a good tour to go e-india 2009, Lots of learning Interactions, Ideas and more lessons learned! Looking forward to more learning enhancements @ e-ASIA

Niranjan Meegammana
Shilpa Sayura Foundation

Vijayanagar Kingdom, Humpi has a major influence in Sri Lankas Kandyan Era Art and Archetecture, Had good relationships with Sri Lanka in 15th century.


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