Wednesday April 23rd, 2008
We were supposed to resume Neighbourhood Diaries this Monday, but we could meet the journalists only on Wednesday because of a city strike. We have justifiably been feeling that there would be many challenges in reconnecting with the young journalists after the long break for their examinations. About six people out of twelve were present. Some of them have changed home and moved away, some have become involved in some projects that take up a lot of their time. Still, they promised to be there for Kalam in the next session next Monday.
In this session, they worked at getting comfortable with using their new email ids. Most of them have not handled computers and keyboards before, so this will take a lot of time and practice. Additionally, there is a language barrier in using the English interface. However, each of them logged in to their personal account using their passwords, and sent a basic email to the rest of the group.They typed in Bangla, using English alphabets. We have decided to take it slow, and provide a space for steady practice. Though it is important to learn to type and blog in the vernacular, as Swati, one of our friends from Asha for Education pointed out, this kind of typing Bangla words using English letters has the potential of reaching across to a wider cross section of people, people who can speak and understand Bangla but do not recognize the alphabets.
We also had a conversation with the youth about what they would really like to research and write about next, after such a long break. Many of them showed interest in writing about the footpaths in their para, the footpath dwellers, the tiny food stalls on the footpaths. We'll work on this subject shortly; sounds like it can be really interesting.