Andhra village
converted to e-commerce centre

PARVATHAPUR (MAHBOOBNAGAR): Parvathapur village, 126 km from the State capital, on Monday achieved the distinction of becoming the first "Solar powered digital culture and electronic commerce centre" in the entire country to be linked to the world through Internet.

The first customer to buy from the centre was none other than Chief MinisterN Chandrababu Naidu, who ordered for the purchase of a compact disc having music and art, created by villagers as part of the inaugural ceremony.

Parvathapur is one of the 50 villages to be converted into e-commerce centres by the Greenstar India, a local company, in collaboration with the 'Mandala Grameena Bhagaswamya Samstha' and Villages in Partnership (VIP), a voluntary organisation.

In a symbolic gesture, the village was put on the world map of internet at the stroke of 10.02 am, while 10 stands for the month (October), two for the date. Naidu e-mailed a congratulatory message assuring full cooperation to the promoters.

The tiny village with a population of 2,000 wore a festive look for the occasion with women and children swayed to the drum beats and the rhythmic sound of cymbals unmindful of the scorching heat. As the beat reached its crescendo, the audience danced in delirium.

Inaugurating the centre, district collector G Anantha Ramu said that the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to bring technology to rural areas was fulfilled by putting Parvathapur on the world map.

He said that no programme would be a success unless people were involved and in this context, the Andhra Pradesh government had been championing the cause of the self help groups.

While it was an Herculean task for the artists to perform at places other than their native villages due to extraneous reasons, things have become much easier now as their performances would be recorded on CD and marketed world wide, he added.

Greenstar vice-president Charles F Gay said that the village has set a new trend by rekindling the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi. Greenstar would help the village in marching ahead, he added.

Y Venkatadri Rao, Vice President of Capital Fortune said that the chief minister was keen on making every village into a hi-tec village.

Earlier Prof PHNB Sharma paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. VIP Director Dr T Nagendra Swamy, Swamy Pranavananda Bharati Kumar and other spoke.