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Legacy Grants

Internet For All

Self-expression at smART Girls Art Camp

There are few things as powerful as access to information. That's why I applied for a Legacy Grant to bring tablet computers and Internet access to boys and girls at the Sevalayam Ashram orphanage in Coimbatore, India. Living in this region, the children had limited educational resources and no access to technology. I hoped that the tablets and tools provided by Legacy Grants would establish a web-based learning platform for them.

There were hurdles in making this a reality. I was only home in Coimbatore for only three weeks, but it quickly became apparent that establishing reliable Internet connectivity would take much longer. The processes to install new fiber-net cables for the remote orphanage were complex. In addition, the tablets were delayed while clearing customs.

Nevertheless, thanks to the support of the Legacy Grants, we received the tablets in time and were able to distribute them. To kick-start the students' learning experience, I conducted a workshop with temporary web access to introduce them to Google and other Internet searches.

The boys and girls at Sevalayam Ashram adapted quickly to using the tablets and browsing the web. These first digital experiences will continue to fuel their education, their creative pursuits, and their understanding of global events. I'll never forget one student named Dinesh, who was very excited to study for his chemistry exams and to learn about molecular chemistry. He hoped to become an Indian Administrative Services officer—one of the most prestigious and competitive positions within the Indian government.

Working with these curious and motivated children has taught me that ambition knows no bounds. I'm so grateful that the Legacy Grants program has allowed me to provide new opportunities for these children to grow and realize their dreams.

—Sourabh Banthia '17

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