India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Solar-powered e-commerce centre
commissioned at Parvatapur

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, OCT. 2. The remote Parvatapur village in Mahabubnagar district, 150 km from here, came alive on Monday as a solar- powered community and e-commerce centre was dedicated on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti today.

It is the first site of the 50 such centres planned by Greenstar India, a new consortium of companies from India and the United States. The Foundation brought solar power, education, community health, satellite communication and electronic commerce to this village.

The rich cultural heritage of the village, captured in the form of digitised music, would be sold across the world. The revenues from the digital culture will be used to fund basic needs of each village for its future, as decided by the people themselves, using tools that include clean solar power, telemedicine and vaccination resources, basic education, micro-credit nd a high- speed, two-way connection to the World through Internet.

The Chief Minister, Mr.N.Chandrababu Naidu, participated in a function in Hyderabad connecting the events in Parvatapur through the Internet. He bought the first CD of music and art.

A colourful function was organised in the village on the occasion which was attended by senior district officers and representatives of the Greenstar Foundation.

In his address on the occasion, the Chief Minister expressed confidence that network connectivity could add substantially to the income of farmers and artisans of the village. He was glad that Greenstar was focussing on clean energy. The future will see more and more decentralised and local power generation.

Mr.Naidu said Internet was a great equaliser as it can allow even a remote village to reach out to the world. It is the only way to bridge a digital divide. Internet is rapidly growing and about 3.5 million Indians had access to the Net.

The Chief Minister said he had been pleading constantly with the Centre to take steps to make bandwidth available liberally. The future sign of development in any area was the availabiity of bandwidth.

He said Internet as it existed today was largely oriented towards English language and western culture. There is every need therefore to ensure that different cultures and languages find a place over Internet.

Mr.K.L.Chug, Chief Executive Officer of Greenstar, said the project is a small beginning in creating centres of global commerce in the villages so that migration to cities is arrested. The cycle of people flocking to the cities would thus be reversed. A slide presentation of the infrastructure created by Greenstar in the village was made on the occasion.