Angaryarkanni (47) and Sangitha (27) are partners in the journey of digital literacy. They are both ad-hoc teachers at a government middle school in Manglapuddur, a hamlet in Tiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu. Manglapuddur is also home to one of Digital Empowerment Foundation’s latest CIRCs, which has been established in partnership with Mphasis. Even though Angaryarkanni and Sangitha (whose husbands are daily wage earners) are teachers at a government school, they never got a chance to take a look at a computer, let alone work on it. Their knowledge of digital tools was restricted to their feature phones.
Despite the fact that the CIRC is located within their school premises, it took them two weeks to actually visit the centre and enroll for digital literacy.
Now, both the women have decided to take the plunge together. They are determined to learn the use of modern tools and are willing to become each other’s strength in this daily journey of a couple of hours where they transform from teachers into students. During these two hours, Angaryarkanni and Sangitha sit alongside their school students, as equals, but they know that the latter are much faster learners than them. However, the two women’s determination to learn and to seek help from each other is so beautiful that they both place a hand each on the mouse, as they navigate the cursor from one application to another or draw on Paint.
The two teachers believe modern tools are the future and bring the promise of an informed and educated society. For Angaryarkanni, her inspiration lies in her three daughters (aged 20, 18 and 13). Sangitha, who does not have any children of her own yet, meanwhile, feels like a child when she’s learning to become a digital citizen with her mother-like companion.