New on the big

The Nepal’s Rural Education and Development (READ) programme receiving the 2006 Access to Learning Award worth $1 million from the US-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is indeed a matter of great pride for the entire nation. READ on Monday bagged the award for its commitment to providing information and literacy in the form of free access to computers and internet to citizens in the rural communities. The success and support for READ programme also highlight the desirability of greater access to information and technology in rural areas. The award money is expected to sustain READ’s library development projects currently being run in 33 districts and will hopefully expand its capacity to transfer information technology to the local communities. The fund, it is hoped, will help boost the number of computers in READ’s 39 self-support libraries, develop the community internet network and bring interactive education and medical resources to half-a-million underprivileged Nepalis.

The international acclaim is indeed an encouraging development for the NGO sector of Nepal and recognition of a noble cause aimed at uplifting the rural populace. It’s a reminder that it is only a matter of time those who work for the greater benefit of the society will be duly honoured and rewarded. This should goad those with resources to take an active part in local development endeavours. Good money coupled with noble intention can make a substantial difference in a Third World country like Nepal.