On the Information Technology front, the Community Radio is our flagship intervention at present. We have been involved in developing the hardware and software set up for smooth operations in the studio considering the unique demands of working in a hill environment that is prone to frequent power outages and lightning strikes. It has been a challenge to work with limited resources to provide a reliable working environment for the Radio team.
There was an interesting collaboration with the Barclays Bank’s technical team as part of their CSR programme. They volunteered to devote some of their development time to help Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company to adopt Open ERP in their day to day functioning. As a part of this we procured and set up desktops for each production Center with Ubuntu Linux installed in them for providing a safer and more reliable working environment in the remote locations. The choice of OpenERP was also keeping in mind that it is a free and open source software that has extensive support online and can be modified in future to suit our needs without any licensing expenses or being dependent on software vendors. The training programme for users from the village centres was a hit with first time computer users being able to comfortably use the English language interface.
Bala attended a meeting of the Dryad network in London which is being promoted by the Munden Project. It is an alternative financing model for Community Forest Enterprises that moves away from carbon based financing to promote sustainable enterprises as the solution to deforestation and degradation of forests. One of the key components of the initiative is the use of ICT to generate data supporting the conservation impacts of sustainable forest based community enterprises.