As a significant percentage of the population lacks access to the digital knowledge and service, World on Wheels (WoW) program is bringing rural and semi urban communities closer to the magic of digital world.
Started by HP India and SRF Foundation, the program offers digital access to the isolated and disadvantaged groups in rural and semi-rural locations through IT equipped buses. It aims to promote e-learning for children, skills and entrepreneurship for youth and digital – based services for the community.
HP – World on Wheels (WoW) are digital buses that offer a unique mobility solution. These 20-seater IT-enabled buses are equipped with the latest computing as well as printing equipment along with numerous software and e-learning tools.
It is also designed with leading technology to reduce emission and maximize energy efficiency. Each mobile bus is being powered by 11 high efficiency solar panels and battery packs, generating and storing enough power to sustain the lab’s daily energy requirement.
Common Service Labs
HP Common Services Lab is another initiative of HP and SRF Foundation based at SRF Limited’s Manali plant in Tamil Nadu, providing an integration of e-education, e-health and e-citizen services to communities.
The Common Services Lab is internet-enabled and solar-powered digital and health solution unit that acts as a community service center for its users. The aim of the initiative is to impact youth communities and students through entrepreneurship programs by making digital services accessible for all.
It is built over a standard 40 ft ISO shipping container that includes Remote Health Consultation and Diagnosis through Health Kiosk Digital Literacy Training, Electronic Data Processing Training for Youth, e-education for students (K-12), common citizenship activities, video conferencing for specific groups etc.
Services for everyone
HP World on Wheels (WoW) are stationed at the schools through which students gain access to computer literacy, digital classroom and IT education.
In addition to this, teachers also utilize the bus during school hours to complete online school related work, to access information on the internet and teaching support from the e-content.
The intervention is taking cutting-edge modern-day technology to the doorstep of these youth who utilise the services for various online course, college hunting, entrepreneurship development program, career counseling, among others.
The program caters to common citizens through mobile labs modeled as common service centers for accessing services such as bill payment, online registration, filling of different kinds of forms, getting prints outs, video conferencing, farming techniques, consultations and career counselling.
As of now, HP World on Wheels and Common Services Labs have been providing quality digital education, entrepreneurship training and access to essential digital services to five lakh community members, 15 thousand students in 70 schools across six locations – Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Manali and Gummidipoondi in Tamil Nadu, Dahej in Gujrat and Kamrup (M) in Assam.
India has one of the highest percentages of population which does not have access to digital resources and continues to have a broad digital divide between the urban and rural parts. Digitization and technology can facilitate access and availability of more products to meet the aspirations of the untapped and unreached rural India.
As per a report from the Digital Empowerment Foundation in 2018, around 90% of India’s population is digitally illiterate. Digital literacy is vital for people to be able to access the current internet facilities in India, as well as to digitally empower the youth with an enhanced skill set furthermore driving the job market at large.
As the pandemic intensified, access to education became a liability. However, due to these digital initiatives and adequate digital infrastructure that are already implemented in various locations by HP India along with SRF Foundation has helped provide quality education even when the world was struggling to make the shift to online mode.