But things started to change in his village Koimari in northern Nilphamari district when Young Bangla, a platform of the non-profit-group Center for Research and Information (CRI), and software giant Microsoft Inc’s Bangladesh chapter joined hands and installed a computer lab at the Upazila where the village is situated.
The tie-up has opened a new horizon for the local farmers who get information required for boosting their production.
“This is unbelievable. Now I can learn computer with almost one-third of the price I would have to pay. They (trainers) are highly trained from Dhaka,” Dipak, a final-year undergraduate student of Jaldhaka Degree College, told bdnews24.com.
Keshab Chanrda Roy runs the lab under his organisation Youth Association for Cultural Development (YACD). He is known as a child marriage preventer in his village and for which he has received a UN award.
He also received the Joy Bangla Award, a flagship award of the Young Bangla that brings up and encourages youths, who work to change society, and helps them grow.
After he received the award, Young Bangla arranged more training for him and gave the Microsoft lab to him, apart from supporting him in his social work. The lab opened in June last year with six computers.
“I am getting tremendous response. So far, 40 youths have completed their six-month basic training from this lab,” he told bdnews24.com.
“Now I need even more computers. You know all students now want to learn computer. They have to study ICT in school, but the school does not have good trainers. So they all want to learn from us,” he said.
This lab initiative coincides with two other schemes under the Young Bangla-Microsoft partnership — opportunity of internship and brand ambassadorship, and service engineering training.
Some 400 Young Bangla members received Microsoft Service Engineering Training during eight sessions in rural areas.
A series of workshops has also been held where trainers from Microsoft Bangladesh provided basic operating skills free of cost.
The training focussed on basic computing skills, along with the necessary operating skills and lessons, on solutions to some frequently occurring problem.