Cyber Center Links Remote India to Rest of World

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"If all goes well," said Abraham, the local commissioner, "Anini may get its first and only black-top road by the middle of 2003."

Closing the Gap

Ministry official Mahajan said the government's plan to provide India's most isolated people with global connectivity though satellite links is not an extravagant and wildly idealistic project but a crucial bridge to the future. It is important, he stressed, to close the communication divide that has separated Anini and other areas like it from the rest of India, and the world.

The newly opened computer information center in Anini is housed in a single-story tin-roofed building near the administrative office of the commissioner, which is the hub of activity in the tiny town.

Electrical power needed for the new center is not a problem thanks to a 250-kilowatt generator that operates on running water from a mountain stream, commissioned last year by the state government.

As in any transition to new technology, one of the biggest challenges is providing the level of training and technical services needed to help the residents of Anini take full advantage of the new equipment. The center is presently run by two natives of the area who are technically qualified and speak the local language.

Thacho, an elected representative of the area and an Idu Mishmi, believes the community will benefit immensely from the government's investment of several thousand dollars required to get Anini's information center up and running.

Besides providing local people with a wealth of information, he envisions a day when the district administration will be able to use the center's services to modernize and streamline its operations.

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