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A Hole in the Wall Helps Bridge Digital Divide in India

India is a land of contrasts, a country where 25 percent of citizens live on less than $1 a day, yet six of the top 100 technology companies are located. Though the Indian government just unveiled a $35 tablet computer to lift people out of poverty, there's another homegrown initiative hoping to achieve the same result.

NIIT, a global information technology education corporation, places computers in poor communities so children can learn how to use the computers, often within hours and without instruction. Dr. Sugata Mitra, head of research and development at NIIT, placed the first computer in a literal "hole in the wall" that separated the company's headquarters from a slum. The neighborhood kids were intrigued.

"So when they said, 'Can we touch it?' I said, 'It's on your side of the wall.' So the rules say whatever is on their side of the wall, they can touch, so they touched it," said Dr. Mitra.

Watch the video above to find out how giving computer and Internet access to underprivileged children can build literacy skills and build a bridge to learning more about the world.

This story is part of our Wednesday ViewChange video series.

 

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