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Using ICTs to Create Opportunities for Marginalized Women and Men: The Private Sector and Community Working Together

Presentation by Chetan Sharma, 
Washington, DC, December 18, 2001
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer remarkable opportunities for poverty alleviation and employment generation. However, barriers to access, high costs, and minimal human resources often prevent those living in poverty from reaping the benefits. When the private and civil sectors work together as partners, the benefits of ICT can be greatly enhanced, returns to the community improved, and profits increased. Chetan Sharma shares with us his experience as the founder and CEO of a leading data processing firm in India that provides programming, data entry, transcription, and data conversion services. Mr. Sharma discusses how ICTs are being deployed in India and what impacts they are having on gender issues. He also discusses how the private sector can work together with community organizations and NGOs. Mr. Sharma gives examples of how his firm has reached out to communities and provided opportunities for poor women and men who are among the most vulnerable, such as:
  • Creating an identity card system for widows in Brindivan whose needs often go unknown and unmet. Identification cards will help them to attain health and administrative services. 
  • Providing leprosy workers with cell phones and pagers so that they can acquire instant medical advice and immediate treatment to patients thereby avoiding complications due to delays in communications and late treatment. 
  • Helping dowry victims rebuild their lives and obtain marketable skills by providing them with training in information technology. 
  • Working with women's self-help groups to give poor women ICT training and income earning opportunities.

Presentation: Using ICTs to Create Opportunities for Marginalized Women and Men: The Private Sector and Community Working Together (552 Kb PPT)

Chetan Sharma is founder and CEO of Datamation, a data processing firm employing 1,180 people in 24 offices throughout India. Mr. Sharma has 15 years of experience and his company employs women as well as men, targeting those most vulnerable to poverty. Mr. Sharma has first-hand, grassroots knowledge of the role ICTs are playing in India and has practical knowledge and understanding of the issues confronting girls and women seeking employment in IT-related areas.

Updated: 6/9/04


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