FW: Bytes for All : a newsletter from South Asia

From "Grugnog" <grugnog@tao.ca>
Date Tue, 19 Oct 1999 19:04:09 +0100
Importance Normal

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An interesting and quite probably effective project IMHO
- Grug

-----Original Message-----
From: worker-internet@lists.tao.ca
Sent: 19 October 1999 10:58
Subject: Bytes for All : a newsletter from South Asia

  ->   http://internet.tao.ca   <-

bYtES For aLL * bYtES For aLL * bYtES For aLL
CyberSolutions  that Place People Before Profits
Dear friends around the world,

Realities of the Third World =  'a modem can cost more than a cow' +
access to telecommunication is a previledge + information by
definition is a property of the government.

Welcome to South Asia. This talent-rich, resource-poor, tragic-
powerhouse  of immense software skills, finds its abilities
recognised across the globe. And yet millions here can't find the
solutions that could make life a little less of a struggle.

Likewise, software brains from the region are serving some of the
biggest companies in the globe... But it also finds itself ironically
unable to afford  the prices of 'legal' software that it very badly
needs for itself.

Some of the most relevant software/Internet/computer/IT ventures in
South Asia, ironically, fail to get the attention they merit.
Attending to the needs of the poor doesn't make good business sense.

bYtES For aLL is an attempt to swim against the tide. Through a
website (currently under construction) and an e-mail based mailing
list, we hope to update interested readers about interesting
ventures. Attempts that focus on people before profits. This venture
is being jointly undertaken by Frederick Noronha <fred@vsnl.com> a
freelance journalist based in Goa-India interested in developmental
issues, and by Partha Pratim Sarker <partha@drik.net> a web designer
and an online activist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

A trial version of bYtES For aLL has already been put out via email.
Do visit our (still incomplete) web-site at

We seek inputs of interesting news events from your part of the
region, or any information that would be of interest to our readers.
Do feel free to send us news-updates, URLs, photographs, video clips
or demo versions of software which you feel might be of interest.

To give an idea on the type of developments we plan to focus on, here
are some of the issues highlighted by bYtES For aLL recently:

* Advancing telecommunications for rural development
* Basic-needs library free on a CD
* Information Poverty Research Institute's work in the US
* Community radio project in Karnataka, India
* Rural telephones for Bangladesh
* TV satellite transmission project in Madhya Pradesh, India
* Mailing-list for IT developments in South Asia
* MIT Media Lab.joins Drik-Learn initiative in Sylhet, Bangladesh
* Information about the development sector, through INDEV.
* Kannada (Indian language) keyboards for cyberspace.
* Software package for farmers (Maharashtra-India)
* Virtual university in Madhya Pradesh (India)
* Software for Pakistan, and for Arabic script
* Internet-radio plan for the masses from Delhi
* Meet to focus on Urdu software in Pakistan
* Indian open university (IGNOU) plan for rural areas
* Internet radio in Sri Lanka
* Village knowledge centres plan.
* Multimedia for villagers in India
* Telemedecine in Gujarat, India.
* Indian email-software Indomail can write 12 languages
* Internet growth lags in the Third World


"The most fundamental way of helping  other people is to teach people
how to do  things better, to tell people things that   you know that
will enable them to better  their lives. For people who use
computers, this means sharing the recipes  you use on your computer,
in other words the programs you run."  -- Richard   Stallman, Free
Software Foundation.


Many of the best minds of our time are engaged in finding ways for the
already wealthy to claim even more of the world's real wealth for
themselves. -- David C Korten yes@futurenet.org


[India, China] and other developing nations have the chance to
rethink the meaning of being rural. If just a few political leaders
were to reexamine their telecommunications agenda for the rural
populace, poverty could be redefined in the digital age. -- Nicholas
Nigroponti, Director, MIT Media Lab.(also in June Wired.)


The root of wealth or poverty lies in the ends we have in mind, not
in the means to those ends.  If the hand is ready then finding the
instrument of action should not be difficult. ----Rabindranath Tagore
( a legendary poet in Bengali literature and a Noble laureate of 1913


Frederick Noronha (India)
Partha Pratim Sarker (Bangladesh)

founder editors
bytes for all

	a message from the internet list
		the internet you say?
			qui est-ce?

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