Information communication technology (ICT) has the potential to contribute vastly to the development of a country and in particular via its impact on rural communities. It is under this ethos of taking technology to the masses that the Sarvodaya- Fusion Mobile 4D unit embarked on the Smart Village initiative which provided access to smart phones to select rural communities in the country with particular emphasis on relevant practical applications of the technology.
Pursuant to the project’s success, the unit, in partnership with Etisalat Sri Lanka launched the pilot phase of the Android Village Hubs program in September 2012 in the Bathiyagama village of the Eastern Province and Panagoda village in the North Western Province with the objective of providing the opportunity to engage and utilise Android Tablet technology.
Fifty Huawei Ideos S7 Android Tablets are to be provided to ten villages over the twelve month period and upon the successful three month completion of the pilot stage, phase two of the venture commenced on the 29th of April in the Kurunegala District.
Five volunteers per village is selected and presented with a tablet each along with a prepaid Etisalat SIM card, following which they undergo a day’s training conducted by project coordinator Mr. Udara Dharmasena with regards to the technology, its applications and proper care of the device.
Each volunteer operating under a team leader appointed per village is to select eighteen families as per guidelines provided to them. The criteria for selection encompass an evaluation centered on the ability of family members to obtain the maximum return from the technology offered taking into consideration its applications and a need based assessment with regards to age, educational level, occupation and general interest towards the project.
The volunteers are then to educate the select participants based on their training and then transfer the tablet to one family for exclusive use for fourteen days following which they are to ensure collection and rotation to the next family at the end of the allocated time period. Further to this there will be an additional tablet at the Sarvodaya village centre under the care of the team leader providing the general public with access to the technology.
Any queries raised with regards to usage that the volunteers are unable to tackle are to be moderated by the network of local officers in liaison with Mr. Dharmasena. In appreciation of their efforts and the pivotal role they play in the success of the project, the volunteers are to be presented with a certificate of participation at the end of the program.
Training for the villages of Ponnalai and Karainagar of Jaffna was held at the District 306B Lion’s Club of Vodukoddai. The event was significant as it was conducted in both Sinhala and Tamil with Mr. Sudarshan Gregory acting as the translator for Mr. Udara Dharmasena.
The trainer empathetically highlighted that both himself and Mr. Sudarshan were both born and raised in villages and that whilst the technology seems to be daunting and knowledge of its current use might be restricted to searching for information, Facebook and YouTube that there are many other valuable opportunities and applications to be accessed and employed. Mr. Dharmasena made a particular association between future aspirations of each participant and ICT infiltration of each highlighted field to demonstrate modern applications of technology.
It was noted that mobile phone penetration was at 100% with at least one phone per family of each volunteer albeit none of the families had access to smart phone technology.
We look forward to returning to Jaffna in three weeks’ time to evaluate the progress of the project; please leave your thoughts and feedback on the comments section so that we can continue to improve the delivery of our services.
Re-blogged from: World Bank Press Release
COLOMBO, March 6, 2013
World Bank, Microsoft and Sarvodaya Fusion announced a partnership today to launch an innovative grant competition titled “Youth Solutions! Technology for Skills and Employment.” This project will be implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
This partnership was announced during the visit of Alexander Ferguson, Special Advisor, World Bank South Asia Region External Affairs to Sri Lanka. Sriyan D.S. Wijeratne, Microsoft Country Manager met with World Bank officials and engaged in a discussion on finding youth initiated technological solutions to address the issue of youth unemployment.
Sarvodaya-Fusion is the implementing partner of this project. Fusion will support World Bank and Microsoft outreach efforts in coordination with its regional partners to reach rural youth led social enterprises that will create jobs through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The partnership project between Microsoft and the World Bank will aim to capture youthful enthusiasm and inspire innovations for development that will lead to employment creation with a strong sustainability program worked into the proposed ideas.
This ICT-themed regional competition will showcase the fresh ideas and creativity of the young people of South Asia, and at the same time encourage them to find innovative solutions to the challenges faced by youth such as lack of skills development and unemployment.
Each country will win one grant of $10,000 to $20,000 to carry out an innovative project, one year in duration.
Microsoft and the World Bank with the support of an external evaluation panel will shortlist innovative proposals. All shortlisted candidates will make presentations of their proposal at a regional workshop scheduled for the third week of May 2013.
More information and call for proposals will be announced on March 11, 2013.
Leading ICT for Development organisation, Sarvodaya-Fusion, has been celebrated for its pioneering work with rural communities this week. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) detailed Fusion’s work within their annual Information and Economy Report that investigates the progress of the software industry in developing countries. It is the first time that Sri Lanka has been featured in the UNCTAD report and represents a unique opportunity to showcase how ICT can be used to support development in the country.
The official Sri Lankan launch of the report featured a head table of Mr Dinesh Saparamadu (CEO, hSenid), Reshan Dewapura (CEO, ICTA), Mr Dumindra Ratnayaka (Etisalat CEO), Dr Subinay Nandy (United Nations Sri Lanka), Dr Harsha Liyanage (eNovation 4D & Sarvodaya Fusion), Isura Silva (Manager, Sarvodaya-Fusion)
Sri Lanka’s rural communities have been the beneficiaries of a world beating scheme that has introduced smart devices such as phones and tabs to locations across the island. The 2012 report acknowledges the innovative grassroots project that has been developed by the organisation through the use of Smart devices such as Android mobile phones and tablets. According to the report, the project played an important in the establishment of a unique eco system that has helped develop a series of locally relevant mobile applications.
Isura Silva, Manager of Sarvodaya-Fusion, commented on the report by saying “It is obviously a tremendous honour for our small organisation to be acknowledged by the UN. This is a moment that can be celebrated by Sri Lankan’s everywhere as we are truly leading the world in demonstrating how emergent technologies can be used to make the lives of deprived communities better.”
“It has been a wonderful experience for us working with these different communities across Sri Lanka. They have welcomed us into their homes and have really inspired us with what they have achieved and what they want to do with the equipment. We have been working to show them the different things that can be done, but we have been amazed at how quickly they have utilised the technology for a huge array of different things.”
“The technology has been used to reduce journeys by providing information in their own homes, it has been used to support young people to learn and study, it has helped some people to improve the language and spelling skills. The opportunities are endless and this is really just the start of our Smart Village programmes. With the support of the business community in Sri Lanka we hope that this scheme can grow to even further. In time we hope that you will be able to find a shared smart device in every rural community on the island. That is our dream”.
The project was launched in 2011 as a partnership between Sarvodaya-Fusion and Etisalat who supplied pre-paid sim card for the different devices. Individuals and groups from each location have been able to use the portable devices as part of a shared community resource, the first time in the world that mobile technology has been used in such a way.
Etisalat CEO Dumindra Ratnayaka spoke to the packed conference hall “This project has really enabled us to overcome the lack of internet penetration in many parts of the country and provide solutions to rural communities directly. Working with Sarvodaya-Fusion has enabled us to reach the grassroots of communities in Sri Lanka and demonstrate the true power and opportunities that the internet can provide. With the internet we can communicate better, we can connect communities through social media and spur economic development by tapping into the information economy.”
Reshan Dewapura CEO of ICTA, Sri Lanka’s Information and Communication Technology Agency, spoke at the event saying “the value of partnerships like those between Sarvodaya-Fusion and Etisalat are tremendously important and offer great value for the country. It shows how we can find a synergy and come together to move forward towards the country’s development goals faster than solely relying on government.”
Asked about the important of ICT as a tool for development Mr Dewapura replied “Ten years ago I would have said it was important, today I would say it is mandatory. ICT is all around us like the air we breathe. It creates development opportunities right across the spectrum from bettering people’s health to decreasing corruption, and from increasing efficiency to improving the quality of life of people throughout the island.”
The joint ICT for development project between Etisalat and Sarvodaya-Fusion known as Android Village Hubs is set to be extended in the coming months to a total of twelve locations.
This week will see the start of a series of events that will connect NGOs from across Sri Lanka with the aim of improving their ICT access, skills and capability. The events are hosted by ICT for Development organisation Sarvodaya-Fusion in partnership with Microsoft Sri Lanka.
The program brings together over 50 NGOs specialising in the areas such as poverty alleviation, rural economic development, human rights, youth empowerment and environmental conservation, where they will share knowledge and exchange ideas on how technology can help them better serve the communities they operate in.
Fusion Manager Isura Silva commenting on the event said “It is a fantastic opportunity for organisations throughout the island to get together and discuss the current challenges that they face, particularly in regards to ICT. There are hundreds of organisations across Sri Lanka that do a great amount of work and we want to support them to use ICT to be as efficient, responsive and vibrant as they can be.”
“As the nation’s leading ICT4D organisation we understand better, the huge impact that ICT can make, especially to disadvantaged communities. Whether you are delivering aid, providing educational programmes, tackling disease or supporting rural communities, effective ICT can help you to deliver it better and faster. We have all seen the huge difference that computers and mobile phones have made to our everyday lives and now it is really time for NGOs to ensure that they are making the maximum use of the ICT opportunities.”
Janakie Karunaratne, Community Affairs Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka said “We received a very good response for the Connecting Communities event organized last year in which we had nearly 40NGOs participating. And a demand for a similar, yet more close-group session was expressed by many of them who were keen on sharing ideas on what technology can do for them in achieving their respective missions. Therefore, this year’s event takes a slightly different format and will span across 10 days. . Each day we will have a group of people from a different area of work, whether it is poverty alleviation, human rights or disability and it will give them a chance to share experiences and understand what ICT challenges they share, and ultimately how the latest technology can be used as a tool to overcome them.”
“We have worked together with Sarvodaya-Fusion to organise this year’s event & a team of Microsoft technology experts to present a series of new ICT solutions that will help Sri Lankan NGOs to be more cost efficient, improve time management and communicate more effectively. It may also be the first chance for many NGOs to understand the power of Cloud technology that will be especially beneficial for people working in the field. We invite anyone who believes that they may benefit from the experience to get in touch with the Fusion team if they wish to a be part of this knowledge sharing experience.”
Two premier companies operating in the country, Lafarge Mahaweli Cement and Microsoft Sri Lanka, joined hands with Sarvodaya-Fusion, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost non-governmental organizations, to establish an Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Centre in Gampaha. The Centre aims to improve ICT skills among youth in the Gampaha district.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with regard to the establishment of this Centre was signed at the Lafarge Head Office in Orugodawatte, between Anurag Kak, Managing Director of Lafarge Mahaweli Cement (Pvt) Ltd, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka & Bangladesh and Dr. Vinya S. Ariyarathne, General Secretary of Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Sangamaya. Jamie Harper, President, Microsoft South East Asia New Markets who was on a visit to Sri Lanka also graced the event.
Dr. Vinya Ariyarathna explaining why Gampaha was chosen as the location for the project, said “Gampaha is a district where you can find both urban and rural areas. Being adjacent to Colombo –the commercial hub of the country, Gampaha has enormous potential as far as the country’s economy is concerned. Therefore, we believe, an area like Gampaha is ideal for a project of this nature. It will empower the youth in the area, enhance opportunities and show them the correct path.”
Sarvodaya-Fusion, the ICT education arm of Sarvodaya, would be handling the implementation process of the project. Isura Silva, Manager of Sarvodaya Fusion said that the enrollment process for this Centre will be carried out in a manner that would provide more opportunities for the less-privileged youth in the area. “They are the ones who need guidance and empowerment. We will adopt a unique mechanism to identify them and reach out to them. Our network in Gampaha will assist us in identifying less-privileged students in the area,” he added.
In addition, Sarvodaya-Fusion will provide necessary administrative guidance and instructions to the ICT centre for project operations at field level. It will also handle the smooth functioning of budgets and disburse project funds to respective ends as guided by the project plan.
Microsoft Sri Lanka will facilitate the program with their experience in carrying out a range of similar initiatives across the country that is aimed at bridging the digital divide. Microsoft will also contribute by providing the globally recognized Unlimited Potential curricular, which will be used for the IT training courses conducted at the Center.
Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka & Bangladesh, said “It is important that technology is made accessible to rural youth, which will open new avenues for them. In all our partnerships we aim to make technology accessible to as many people as possible. This project works towards that goal and through this initiative, we can offer something of value to the youth of Gampaha district and help them improve their IT skills and leverage the knowledge gained for better career opportunities. In this instance we have been able to make a greater impact by partnering with an organization such as Lafarge who has the same commitment and passion as we do, to make a noteworthy difference in the lives of our people. And with our long standing relationship with Sarvodaya we are confident that all of us will be able to make this shared vision a reality.”
Jamie Harper, President, Microsoft South East Asia New Markets also said that a Lafarge – Microsoft partnership was not an unfamiliar one since the Companies have joined hands on a number of CSR projects in other parts of the world.
The collaborators of the project are also of the view that this is another small the government’s vision of making Sri Lanka an IT hub, which is crystallized in Chinthana’ manifesto. For that, IT facilities should be provided to the next particularly to those who live in less privileged areas.
The Government of Japan has conferred the Founder and President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement Dr.A.T.Ariyaratne with one of its distinguished honours, ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in recognition for his outstanding contributions in enhancing relationship by people-to-people exchange between Japan and Sri Lanka.
The Conferment Ceremony will take place on 3rd of December 2012 at the Residence of the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka. Commenting on the award, Japanese ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said Dr Ariyaratne has established exceptionally cordial relations with Japan while helping Japan’s cooperation for social and economic development in Sri Lanka and also enhancing exchanges between the peoples of our two countries.
One of the largest contributions of Dr.Ariyaratne is his effort to establish and develop the activities of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) in Sri Lanka in the late 1970s to 1990s. Due to Dr.Ariyaratne’s efforts, over 870 volunteers have been dispatched and working all over the country, and contributing to further strengthen relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. Dr.Ariyaratne has also contributed towards the development of friendship between the two countries through exchanges with Japanese political leaders, cultural organisations, etc.
His yearly visits to Japan to meet people as well as deliver lectures have inspired many Japanese people. The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, one of the decorations of Japan, are awarded by the Emperor of Japan to foreign nationals who have made notable contributions to enhance bilateral relations with Japan.
Dr.Ariyaratne who just celebrated his 81st birthday has received numerous international awards for his outstanding contributions to development and peace in Sri Lanka which include the Ramon Magsaysay Award from the Republic of the Philippines (1969), the King Baudouin Award from Belgium (1983), the Niwano Peace Prize from Japan (1992), the Gandhi Peace Prize from the Government of India (1996) and just this week, the Chief Minister of Haryana State – India, Shri Bhupinder Singh conferred on him the “Chaudhury Ranbir Singh Award for Promotion of Gandhian Values”.
Reblogged from “SmartVillage” Blog…
Smart Village Initiative has been extended for another year after the progress it showed during its first phase. District telecenters, SEEDS Enterprise Promotion Centers and other Sarvodaya arms had all benefited from Smart Village project throughout its initial phase. This initiative’s flexibility proved to be helpful in advancing creativity and innovation during the project’s experimental phase; allowing the exploration of a wide array of subjects proved important in choosing the focus for the upcoming stages. For the next phase, project has narrowed down to three areas of focus:
1. Small Scale Enterprise Promotion through Social Media
2. Education empowerment through Smartphones
3. Access to information through Smartphones
These three areas showed great potential in creating more Smart Village success stories and facilitated the partnerships in the following fields:
1. Small Scale Enterprise Promotion through Social Media
The basics of Social Media marketing had been mastered by five of the Enterprise Promotion Officers (EPOs) at SEEDS Enterprise Service Division. Now they are ready to actively engage in the social media sphere in order to create a potential market for the products of their clients from rural villages. Google Nexus One smartphones are handy tools that were integrated into the work around social media networks. There are about 1.4 million Facebook users in Sri Lanka and it had become a good place to market the products. Designated pages will be set up for SEEDS and EPOs from all over the country, where they could locate buyer for the products of their clients.
2. Education empowerment through Smartphones
We have concluded that Smartphones can be used as an interesting tool to teach English language for the rural students in Sri Lanka. In the next phase of the Smart Village program, more English teachers will be trained on how to use smartphones at their distance learning centers and a manual will be designed for their facilitation.
3. Access to information through Smartphones
As a result of the Smart Village project, we have initiated another similar project named “Android Village Hubs” in partnership with Etisalat-Sri Lanka. That project gives an opportunity for rural families to experience Android tabs at their home for two week period. The Smart Village project is also following the same method with selected Sarvodaya villages, and will circulate Smartphones within the families of the village. This will allow rural villagers to access information through the latest smart devices.
So this is the planned pathway for the next phase of the Smart Village project and we would love to hear your comments and suggestions to refine the initiative.
This weekend we started our new pilot Citizen Journalism training. Saturday’s workshop gave our participants a chance to experience what journalism work is all about, and was the first of a series of workshops aimed at equipping young men and women with the skills needed for participatory journalism. By mobilizing existing access to ICT infrastructures the program hopes to train young journalists in order to deploy a safety net of knowledge and community engagement that would remove the constraints of social isolation.
Nevertheless, the program aims to advance inter-community understanding and dialog by raising awareness to various opinions and views and support good governance by facilitating independent media for increased transparency and citizen participation.
Project Coordinator Udara Dharmasena said “The new service provides a new and exciting opportunity for young people to actively contribute to society and culture by teaching new skills. With the support of Microsoft we have provided all of the tools needed to record, upload and distribute news in real time, something that has never been possible before”.
Visiting scholar Avihai Stollar from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who has helped pioneer the scheme said “We’re at the forefront of technology and culture where people no longer want to just consume, they want to create and influence the world that they live in”.
Our program focuses on personal coaching and hands on field experience. Round table sessions, practical workshops and weekly exercises provide the participants with a gradual learning process. The logic behind training citizen journalists would be attained through three sub-goals;
- Guide participants towards the conceptual mind set of a journalist
- Empower them with the needed technical knowledge
- Mobilize them to facilitate those skills for social activity and inter-communal dialog.
But why did we focus on Citizen Journalism in the first place?
In the last decade, the ways in which we convey information have changed dramatically. Never in the course of human history was there a time like today in which the control over the spread of knowledge no longer lays in the hands of a privileged few. The expansion of internet access and the rise in social networks popularity created a platform on which everyone has a voice. This voice allows individuals to set the social agenda by raising issues and discussing problems that affect their lives. The improvement in information and communication technologies (ICT) provide powerful, yet affordable, tools to those who wish to document, analyse and share information. In face of this, The value of Citizen Journalism in empowering individuals and communities cannot be undermined.
The training program would be constructed of three components that make up the citizen journalism work;
- thinking and writing like a journalist
- photo journalism basics
- sharing thoughts through blogs and social networks
These professional capacities would be empowered through the use of ICT. It goes without saying that the today, the reach of the internet and the tools smart phones provide – reshaped dramatically the nature of journalism. A local citizen journalist could conduct effective journalism work using the various functions smart phones offer. Photo-shooting, Conducting Interviews and connecting with other sources and colleagues – are all various examples of the these functions.
Our success in this project would be measured in the stories our trainees publish after the training ends. Social change can be understood somehow through the butterfly effect, an action leads to an action and you can’t really predict the final destination. In this regard we aim the advance a positive course of events; encourage public participation, transparency and dialogue – hoping that by doing so we support the building of stronger communities and a stronger society.”
The rapidly developing expansion of ICT throughout Sri Lanka and the developing world has created new employment opportunities but also demands new skills. The job market in Sri Lanka increasingly demands knowledge of ICT skills to succeed, not just in the IT sector, but within almost every industry. This presents a new challenge for disadvantaged rural communities to overcome. Many do not have access to the education or training needed to participate and these economic changes risk excluding disadvantaged groups even further.
To combat this emerging problem Sarvodaya-Fusion and Microsoft joined forces to pioneer an ICT training and employment scheme for underprivileged youth in the war ravaged North and East Districts of the island. The new scheme has helped to transform the lives and prospects of over 1,400 young people by supplying specialist training schemes across 27 locations. The training was delivered by Fusion Education, an arm of Sarvodaya-Fusion.
Sarvodaya-Fusion Managing Director Harsha Liyanage said “It has been a wonderful experience to work with Microsoft and offer new training opportunities to young people. The students have been enthusiastic and worked hard throughout and more than deserve the recognition and success that they are now receiving. It has been a privilege for us to be able to assist these communities that have been ravaged by the war and help them to create a sustainable future.”
With technical and financial support from Microsoft, students underwent six months of educational courses delivered through six Sarvodaya centres and over twenty regional telecentres. The students aged 14-19 studied and completed exams for Fusion Education’s DICA (Diploma in Computer Application) qualification that provides a recognized accreditation in the knowledge and use of various information and communication technologies. The qualification achieved by the 1,128 young people in the North and East districts will significantly aid their ability to access work and ultimately help to lift the areas out of poverty.
Fusion Education has discovered a method of delivering first class ICT knowledge and skills directly to the grassroots of rural communities by establishing a technology hub within a single accessible location called a Village Information Centre. 52 centres were established throughout the deprived North and East region in towns such as Jaffna, Trincomolee and Mannar. The programme provided computers to enable students to access interactive course materials, webinars and other learning materials.
Increasingly employment opportunities through ICT skills were the central aim of the joint project between Sarvodaya-Fusion and Microsoft. Relevant skills and access to work is a key factor in improving economic prosperity and the quality of life of often deprived and excluded rural communities. Many of the young people who participated in the pioneering scheme have gone on to find employment within their communities. The achievements of the participants and the success of the scheme overall is seen as a considerable contribution to the e-empowerment of rural communities, which is Sarvodaya-Fusion’s primary focus.
The successful pilot project has demonstrated that ICT education can be provided in a cost effective manner through the innovative Village Information Centre Model helping to provide new opportunities for over a thousand young people in some of the most deprived areas in the country.
Sarvodaya-Fusion is looking forward to developing and expanding the project further with the generous support of partner Microsoft.
This new magazine (print - Rs.140 ) has good graphics, in depth analysis, yet concise look at current business climate in Sri Lanka. I learned a lot. Made me think differently.
I also downloaded April issue from App Store. (Free ! )
It downloads in to 'News stand' app, and it is interactive. Commendable.
Looking forward to next issues.
After many years of ups and downs, now I'm listening more to my gut feeling.
Analysis is about engaging my mind.
Listening to gut is all about heart.
When listening to gut, I don't need anybody to advise me, whether I do right or wrong.
My stomach would be heated if I do wrong. That is my consciousness.
Every time I overrode that judgment to do some analysis, things got messy .
So, from now on, I will be respecting my gut more. After all that's the best judge.
P.S. it's not that I will completely avoid analysis. Just that I would give more prominence to my gut.
Yes, bottle of water is my new addition in the car.
Not a fancy thing, but it is fixing a bad habit.
I used to stop for coffee, plus random snack, when ever I felt exhausted, driving through dense traffic in Colombo. Though I knew my habit is unhealthy, I kept on doing ( signs of addiction).
Now with water bottle, I keep my self hydrated, during the breaks (sometimes Big Breaks ! ) at color lights. It is refreshing, and keep me occupied in stressful waits in long traffic. And I don't feel for a coffee break. Great on health, and of course on wallet.
I saw one video of 'Kushan & Srimal show' on youtube.
Interested, I checked their other videos as well.
The act is young and creative (trying hard to pursue their passion).
' Chooti malli & podi malli' was a huge success on TV and radio. Now they can be found selling literally many things. TV and radio channels put their stuff on youtube to get eyes and ears back in to their channels.
Then came Jehan R, and dominated the youtube thing.
'Kushan & Srimal show' is in Sinhala and so much youtuby.
To Subscribe to their channel, click here.
This video is worth sharing, and listened to, at least 10 times. It's the latest talk by Ajahn Brahm on 'right view'. Link to video here.
He also mention about the religion mess in Sri Lanka, and explains how hierarchy in religion distorts the right view and in-fact become a wrong view. I am a fan of Ajahn Brahm, and this talk, is a gem.
Me and Udara will be talking at this year's TEDxYouthColombo event, on 4th April (This Thursday) starting at 0530 PM at APIIT.
Click these links to follow TEDxYouthColombo on Twitter (Note: a protected account) and Facebook page.
Theme for this year is " Positive Disruption". We will be talking about our lives and work around Sarvodaya-Fusion.
TED with its mission of " ideas worth spreading" has created a unique platform for speakers to tell their ideas to a global audience, in less than 18 minutes.
Gonna be fun. To register for the event fill in this form.
2 of the talks I adore from TED archives are below, which will give you the flavor of the event.
"How to use a paper towell" - a 5 minute (short, but brilliantly presented) talk, on something we all can do, right from this moment.
"Bring on the learning revolution" - a talk by Sir Ken Robinson. One of my favourite talks of all time.
I am a kindle fan for 2.5 years now.
On reading books, I used androids, iPods and recently a ipad mini (which I thought will make kindle redundant)
But, there are somethings that do not change.
I love to flip pages and smell the papery aroma of print books.
I love the electronic ink technology of kindle basic, that is almost like reading a paper back. It never hurt my eyes, unlike the bright glare rich screens of smart devices (including kindle fire).
And kindle basic lets me focus on the book, only on the book, with its simple rudimentary design.
Hence, kindle basic, still rocks.
Does weekend matter?
Do we really have weekend?
Why do we wait until the weekend for the fun? Does that mean the weekdays are not fun?
What is fun, anyway?
Staying away from traffic? no deadlines looming? no body disturbing you?
It's been revealing to me, that people do not like Sundays.
They feel that they are edging closer to Monday, the worst day of week. So the best day for most is Saturday. And oh, some people work half day, on saturdays.
So we have a very limited time frame sandwiched between some where on Saturday and somewhere on Sunday. And that upcoming deadline next week, constantly nagging at the mind on Saturday too. So, we dont really have a week end. Wow.
I've been thinking. Week end, week days - all these notions do not matter. We have 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. That's lot of time. So instead of cornering life to week days and week ends, might as well look at them as weeks. eg: "I will do this stuff this week, and that stuff next week". And the "stuff" should make us happy. Otherwise no point, eh?
|Illustration of Christopher Columbus writing by candlelight in journal using quill|
So yeah, if you are going through hell...keep going.
> pic courtesy
I had to do Chemical and Process Engineering at Uni, because I was below the GPA needed for software engineering. Yet that could not deter my determination to be around software.
At uni, I had 2 friends who were totally nuts about entertainment. We made songs, documentaries and imagined a world where people having a good time, with software, agile enough to serve anyone's needs.
Of course, I started my career as a Sales Engineer at a software company. Then a senior Accountant at a Telco. Communications, software, excited me, and I worked my self in periphery, understanding the processes that make a phone call possible, a web site up and running.
I loved coding, but was too busy seeing the big picture.
Now, I am at Fusion, doing ICT for Development and Mobile for development. Eagerly awaiting the next wave of technology to come and lift the lives of rural communities.
Coding is a very fun thing. You can change lives. Now anyone with a tint of motivation can go beyond. Watch the video. Be inspired.
This was what a 'Fusion Education' student said to me while visiting him at Kantale.
The question I asked was "do you want a job in Colombo?". I was curious, as majority wants to come to Colombo for greener pastures.
The following was his answer - an answer that got me thinking for few weeks now, and drives me for the next innovation idea.
" Colombo is expensive. As a beginner, I won't be able to afford cost of living there. If I can stay in Kantale, I can save money, and take care of my parents too "
He knows jobs are scarce in his neighborhood. Yet he's willing to test his nerves on entrepreneurship too.
This is one of many examples, on why I have faith in youth of this nation.
Remember the excitement of landing at your first job?
We all are desperate for this - the first job.
Then over time, the excitement reduces to a daily - must do chore - to make ends meet.
This happens when you continue to hunt for better jobs.
There's another way - more successful - and ever exciting.
Hunt for a career.
Jobs depend on demand and supply of HR markets.
Career depends on , well, you.
Career is a life long process of renewing your self, understanding and sharpening your strengths and align with new trends.
Jobs are fun, until you are no longer needed at your office, or you are fed up with it.
Thinking of your career drives you for the right job, or better still, the job finds you.
That's the only difference. The only thing that matters - for happiness.
We read books : fundamentals of X, basics of Y. It takes time to read and put them in to practice. And it requires routine practice to master.
On Internet we read: 5 ways to win X, how to make Y in 45 minutes. This does not take much time, and sure feels like a cheat sheet. And Internet comes with heaps of free and ever increasing new advise in abundance.
Free access to new knowledge does not guarantee value over time. It may most probably drive you down, consuming your precious time.
Fundamentals in the other hand, put in to practice, sharpens over time. So be careful, and take time to revisit fundamentals.
If I don't ask "why me?" after my victories, I cannot ask "why me?" after my set backs and disasters ~ Arthur Ashe
Pic courtesy: desuza.communications
Pic courtesy: moviechopshop.com
On the movie
On the cinema hall
As politicians & religious leaders are busy deciding whether we should watch Vishwaroopam or not, I write this to put forward a simple view.
@isura show times 10.30pm, 2.30pm and 6.30pm. Not sure of booking but there were too many free seats yesterday. @twitsathAnd I had been told over phone by theatre that they have a 930 pm show. (Guess it is only on weekends, please verify that)
— R.Arunothayan (@Me_ArunR) February 2, 2013
@isura 0112365030 - Eros Theatre Number. Talk to them and see bro, not sure of weekend bookings!
— R.Arunothayan (@Me_ArunR) February 2, 2013
|Rizana's mother - Ms.Rafeena Nafeek|
And here I extract few quotes from Rizana's mother. We have many things to learn and think.
There's no point in blaming anyone - Rizana has gone
We only got to know [about] her execution from the media. They [the Saudi authorities] should have at least told us about it.
Even our request to get her body to Sri Lanka was refused.
Mrs Nafeek urged other impoverished families not to send their daughters for domestic work in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else.
Instead she said that they should educate their children, a wish that Rizana had expressed for her own young siblings before her death.
Read the full post here
Pic courtesy: BBC
I ve met SARATH only once. But feels like known him for ages. Never heard any negative comment bout him from his circles...lessons for life.
— isura(@isura) January 20, 2013
You may pay your respects from 20th January 2013 till 3pm on the 21st at 96 Barnes Place, Colombo 7. yfrog.com/h8uc7yokj
— Coco Veranda (@cocoveranda) January 20, 2013
Cremation will be held on 21 January 2013 at 4.30 PM at the General Cemetery, Borella, Hindu Section.
— Coco Veranda (@cocoveranda) January 20, 2013
Friends, in case you missed, there'll be a twitter-pause of 1hour beginning at 4.30pm (11.00 GMT) to honor our beloved friend @sarathsc #lka
— Gopiharan Perinpam (@gopiharan) January 21, 2013
It's very easy to attach and posses by intellectual discussions, to avoid direct apprehension of our lives.
If we get lost in these distractions, we would loose the chance of facing our emotions and passions in their rude raw reality.
If we do not go in to the root cause of our unpleasant and painful emotions and feelings, we will become lost in extreme pleasure and pain, mistaking their common appearance to be permanent.