[OLPC India] moving forward..

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Wed Sep 10 13:45:39 EDT 2008

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 7:38 AM, Satish Jha OLPC <satish at laptop.org> wrote:
> Marc,
> I cannot talk about things I am not privy to. As far as I know, we need
> partners who have the capacity to scale up. Our partners in the past not
> contributed any funds so far and a non profit organization OLPC has been
> incurring significant costs for pilots. We need multiple partners. Its a
> project that requires supporting about 20 million children entering the
> primary school system every year in India. The total for the age group OLPC
> is targeting in India is about 150 million. That's a huge undertaking and we
> need partners who are willing to contribute a significant part of their
> Corporate Social Responsibility budget to the cause, and quickly.
> Our discussions with various business houses are very encouraging and these
> are being held with the board and their chairmen. We have to focus our
> energy in that direction.
> We need every partner we can get and we need partners who are passionate
> about it and have resources to commit as we speak. It will be great to have
> this groups' thoughts on how to move forward and what each of us can do to
> achieve that..
> As of now this is what I have to share. Thanks for your understanding.
> Satish Jha
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 7:14 AM, Marc Valentin
> <mvalentin at oeuvredespains.org> wrote:
>>  >> I consider your observations far from positive in tone and I do not
>> have an
>> >> answer for you. If you are keen on supporting OLPC India, I will
>> >> appreciate
>> >> if we look forward. I do not have answers for things past. Now that we
>> >> have
>> >> a team in place, we will create a website as well. That will take its
>> >> own
>> >> time. Cambridge Center is the official address of OLPC. We can inform
>> >> about
>> >> what we plan and what we achieve now on. I am closing this discussion
>> >> and
>> >> shall greatly appreciate if questions are brought forth in a spirit of
>> >> moving forward.
>> >>
>> >> Thanks much.
>> >
>> >
>> > Satish,
>> >
>> > I really don't think you can close the discussion without a few
>> > clarifications. There appear to be several different entities. There
>> > is
>> >
>> > 1) Satish Jha, President OLPC India
>> > 2) Reliance's Khairat pilot
>> > 3) Digital Bridge Foundation
>> > 4) olpc.co.in
>> > 5) the large list of volunteers on this list.
>> >
>> > I'm all for moving forward, but considering that we, the volunteers,
>> > were here a long time before you joined, the least you owe us is a
>> > connect-the-dots answer.
>> >
>> > Sameer
>> > --
>> > Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
>> > Associate Professor of Information Systems
>> > San Francisco State University
>> > San Francisco CA 94132 USA
>> > http://verma.sfsu.edu/
>> > http://opensource.sfsu.edu/
>> >
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This is quite encouraging. Although I can only speak for myself, I am
sure this community will be willing to help in OLPC India's endeavors
as much as it can. I think that as a mailing list and as a community,
we need to welcome Satish to the endeavor. If we all got off on the
wrong foot, here's the other foot - Welcome to the India list!!!

In my opinion, we all have a role to play. What excites me the most
about this project is that its not about me or you or any of us,
including Nicholas (although a big "thank you" is in order for
creating it), but for kids like this one
(http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Image:Bhagmalpur-kid.jpg I know him
personally) all over the world. Although partners in the past may not
have contributed funds, guys like Amit Gogna and Arjun Sarwal and
Sayamindu Dasgupta others with them have done an incredible amount of
work in the early stages. I am personally impressed by their efforts
and the fact that they continue to do so.

Apart from numbers, OLPC in India, as well as places like San
Francisco, needs good awareness. It is after all some form of
marketing. There is an incredible amount of misdirection in people's
minds which needs to be cleared. I am currently in Jamaica, doing a
series of presentations on Free software and OLPC and its very obvious
as to how much the public at large is misled by the media about the
true merits of this endeavor. I will be in India in mid-October and
intend to do the same at some campuses. Any pointers would be great!

In case you are wondering why I am posting my reply at the bottom, we
have a tradition on most mailing lists to post responses below posts
(answer below question). Strange, but with good reason.

cheers and welcome again,
Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

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