Last few days i've witnessed some events which have been really agonizing me.
The first was on saturday. I'd got call from Manish who with Jitendra and Suraj have been developing a software similar (but not limited) to APTonCD but their version is more like APTonUSB too.. The software they are developing is really superb IMO, especially in our context where we dont have fast internet connection, but still want to use linux and want to be up-to-date. They have also publicly announced their software.
So we all were there to have a look at the prototype n give feedbacks. The 'program' went good. Everybody was excited.
Total cost of organizing the event: Few phone calls
Productivity: Super High
Problems: Lack of fund / resources to setup a package repo (n nobody seems to be helping too)
The next day (sunday) i was at Himalaya Hotel, Kupondole to attend a program (representing OLPC Nepal, along with Shankar). "Demonstration & Interaction Programme on Rural Information Gateway Portal." Big words huh! But actually it was about a website named www.telecenters.org.np. Previously i thought it was the launch of the website, but later on found it was just feedback collection.
WTF! Lunch at luxury hotel, jus to gather feedbacks? Wait, the website building process is even more interesting..
Some askings, and i found out that the project was initiated by USAID and it handed over the development works to HLCIT. But ofcourse HLCIT is a governing body, so did a bid which Mercantile Communications won. Mercantile Communication further did a bid which was won by Winrock International. Winrock again did a bid n finally Magnus Consulting got the job of developing the website. The result - the website is not even Web2.0 and i bet, with Drupal, i can create a better site in ONE day!
Now think of the cost.. I get nothing but frustration. There's so much money being poured into IT development currently. Is this how they spend the money? Expensive hotels, lunch n dinners?? The program was about the telecenter website. And we all know telecenters are a complete failure in Nepal. Is there any way this website gonna last then?? I estimate maximum life-expectency of this website not more than a year!
The final one was again back on saturday. Outside Pulchowk Campus, there was an endless line of people ready to enter the campus to attend examination for their employment in Korea. And everybody looked under 30.
Where are we heading??
Lets have an overview. The guys who wanna work aren't getting proper funds / resources. The big guys who have it are busy with lunch n dinners at five star hotels. Rest of the potentials have no options but go abroad. And the rest of us are still fighting.