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Issue of February 2006 
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Byrraju Foundation introduces technology-based services to support rural transformation

The Byrraju Foundation has launched a range of technology and Web-based services to facilitate rural transformation in the areas of health, education, agriculture, livelihood and knowledge sharing.

At the fourth Vikasa Sadassu (Development Forum), which is organised by the foundation, the President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, inaugurated these facilities in Bhimavaram in the presence of B Ramalinga Raju, Chairman, Byrraju Foundation, and Chairman, Satyam Computer Services.

Vikasa Sadassu is an annual event where all principal stakeholders from 150 villages in five districts come together to assess the progress made during the year and develop a roadmap for the next year.

The online Patient Information Management System is developed by Satyam and supported by Oracle’s Healthcare Transaction Base platform. The foundation also showcased the cost-effective virtual delivery of services in healthcare, education, adult literacy and livelihood through the Ashwini Centres.

The development of this solution is an extension of Oracle’s commitment to support the Byrraju Foundation in its rural development transformation initiatives. This solution complements telemedicine and enables the physician to easily access patient medical records. The foundation is using telemedicine to provide medical consultation without the doctor having to travel to the villages. A trained health worker at the village-end facilitates consultation.

Some of the other facilities and services which were launched:

  • Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI)’s ‘108’ emergency care service to East and West Godavari districts. EMRI had launched this service in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijaywada, Tirupati and Warangal last year. With this launch, EMRI’s services are now available to nearly 20 million people in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Research and Training Wing-Centre for Rural Transformation. In order to research on the best practices and disseminate knowledge relating to the rural transformation process in a focussed manner, the foundation has launched this research and training wing. Located at Hyderabad as part of its Centre for Rural Transformation, the institute will carry out action research, document implementation experiences, and impart training to those engaged in rural transformation.
  • VirtuaLab. The VirtuaLab programme—targeted initially at 450 schools in AP—is connected to Ku Band. VirtuaLab offers a video/TV broadcast facility in partnership with Mana TV to relay content in physics, astronomy, botany, zoology and geology. The core content is being created with the help of the state-of-the-art observatory and science lab set up by Byrraju Foundation at Hyderabad. Images of stars, nebulae, and galaxies will be captured through a sophisticated Celestron telescope, and digital images of botanical samples with electronic microscopes. VirtuaLab will offer students the facility to ask questions via e-mail and/or phone. A panel of expert science teachers will answer these questions on a real-time basis.
  • Ashwini Centres. The Foundation has also embarked upon a programme to provide last mile broadband connectivity to 32 village centres using wireless technology. This programme, called Project Ashwini, which is funded by UNDP, is being implemented in partnership with Media Lab Asia of the Department of Information Technology and Communication, Government of India, and the National Institute of Smart Government (NISG). The project will benefit 5,00,000 people living in these 32 villages and the neighbouring 84 villages.

The Foundation has taken an initiative to set up a rural BPO unit called GramIT in village Jallikakinada (22 km from Bhimavaram) that employs 100 rural youth, drawn from this and the surrounding villages, using the last mile connectivity provided by Project Ashwini. The Foundation plans to set up one such BPO for every ten villages in the next phase and will thereafter increase the number of GramITs. GramIT currently provides transaction-processing services to Indian corporates and government departments.

 
     
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