I’ve lost all sense of time, but my mobile phone (which fortunately
works 800 kms away from home) tells me it’s 10:29 am on March 9, 2006.
Have reached Baramati… after many years.
Later today, the 6th Annual Baramati Initiative on ICT and Development
(focussing on The Potential of e-Agriculture) gets underway at this
rural, but education-oriented island two hours away from Pune in Central
On reaching, I couldn’t recognise the place. It has been a return to
Baramati after five (or is it six?) years. The place has greened in the
meanwhile… while this diarist has greyed 😉 Another change: bandwidth
has improved considerably here. I could have been in some part of
metropolitan India at these speeds. And so has the Baramati knowledge of
GNU/Linux and free software. When I was struggling to get onto the
wireless network (I’m no techie, as you know) a staff member from the
institute helped me in a few minutes to get online. Despite the fact
that they’re more into Red Hat and this is Mandrake. (I prefer the
volunteer-crafted Debian, but the student supporting me has installed
Mandrake on my laptop, and there’s no arguing with him!)
Instead of spending the day at Pune, I thought of bussing it down to
Baramati, in the rugged, rough but fairly efficient and functional bus
service that connects this state of 96 million (Indian sizes tend to be
huge, except perhaps that of my home state, Goa, 1.4 million!). And as I
look at the Wikipedia for the background figure on Baramati, I find that
Kerala, another Indian state not far from Goa to the south, is featured
on the home-page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page today.
The actual event opens tomorrow, Friday, March 10. Among other things,
there’s a report launch on ‘e-Agriculture: Empowering India’, talks, a
field trip to a sugar-cooperative (this is the heart of Indian
sugarland), and more. Given bandwidth, I hope to keep you updated with
inputs. Let’s see how it goes.
As the students talk about organising (mainly) the event and technology
(a bit, amidst all the bustle today) in Marathi (the local language) and
Hindi (India’s national language, but not uniformly understood across
the country), it’s nice that we had to learn a bit of either in school
— so one can understand what’s going on… and even converse. What’s
also interesting is the high rate of women participation among students
here. But will they be able to break the glass ceiling over time?
Frederick ‘FN’ Noronha | Yahoomessenger: fredericknoronha
http://fn.goa-india.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Journalist | +91(832)2409490 Cell 9822122436
Currently blogging from Baramati on the 6th Annual Baramati
Initiative ICT&Development “The Potential of e-Agriculture”