BMGF donates over $4m to Nasscom Foundation
WASHINGTON: Nasscom Foundation on Monday said it has received a grant of $4.78 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to strengthen public libraries in India with access to technology, training and advocacy.
Nasscom Foundation has launched Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM), a multi-stakeholder effort to revitalize and transform public libraries into inclusive knowledge and information centres. Indian public libraries can make benefits of technology accessible to millions of Indians who do not currently have access to computers and the Internet, Nasscom Foundation said in a statement.
These can also provide training on using technology to access information that improves lives, it added. "The Indian Public Library Movement will draw strength from the presence of a strong public library network in India, the committed leadership demonstrated by partners, and the ongoing support for public access to technology through the government's Digital India initiative," Nasscom Foundation chairman Ganesh Natarajan said.
IPLM will start by reaching out to a million library users at 300 district-level libraries and provide them with community driven services such as computer training classes, access to online information about agriculture and health, a safe place for students to study and learning opportunities for people of all ages. "The BMGF provided support for a pilot project for modernisation of seven government public libraries in Uttar Pradesh. Based on the positive outcomes of the pilot project, the state government will now participate in the Scale Up programme, to be implemented by IPLM/NASSCOM Foundation," Shantwana Tiwari, officer on special duty, department of secondary education, Uttar Pradesh, said.
She said 16 government public libraries of the state will be covered under the Scale Up programme, including seven libraries covered under pilot phase.