Developments in Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs)

There has been quite a bit of development and activity on the VKC front. The Bangalore VKC team has been doing some homework and gathering information, especially on VKCs functioning in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.

 Shirley Rebello

In this context, VKCs that were visited included the Chennai Resource Centre, Cuddalore Resource Centre, NCRC (Nagapattinam) and KRRC (Nagercoil) . In addition, 10 VKCs in Sirkali and Nagapattinam areas were visited and more information gathered. 17 VKCs in Kanyakumari district were also visited.

During these visits, it was found that some VKCs run by NGOs are conducting computer programmes such as Internet services (i.e. E-education, E-health, E-agriculture etc.), Computer Aided learning Program, Microsoft Unlimited Potential Program, Dissemination of information on Agriculture, Fishing, Employment, Education, Awareness and Capacity building programs etc.

Some other VKCs provide information to the local NGOs and do more of local NGO coordination. Yet other VKCs are functioning as field offices. The field staff members visit the villages regularly and provide the required information.

It was also noticed that all the VKCs run by NGOs are targeting children,
adolescents (boys and girls) and the women SHGs and most of these VKCs are functioning from rented buildings. Local village girls (graduates and under-graduates) usually run the day-to-day affairs in most of the VKCs.

All the VKCs are maintaining registers (Visitor’s register, User’s register, Library log book etc.)
All the VKCs are geographically clustered. Each cluster is
headed by a VRC (Village Resource Centre).

It is heartening to see that the new VKC that was inaugurated at Thavalakuppam near Puducherry on 19th April 2007, by CSC (Community Seva Centre) in partnership with A&D is functioning well. As per the Visitors book (maintained at the VKC) 188 persons (70% students and 30% unemployed youth and SHG women) have visited the VKC from 20th April to 15th May.

The Panchayat leaders of Nallavadu village have given a plot of common land to A&D through CSC for the construction of a VKC building. The written work and planning is duly being followed upon.