1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Laptops, Personal Computers, Still cameras, Video cameras, Cellphones with Hi-fidelity recording facilities, printers, Internet, Company ( JK Paper) archives. We had access to all of the tools mentioned above and our team was quite comfortable in handling equipment. Our most valuable tools were cellphone and camera.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Since this was the ‘first-of-its-kind’ project in the district, onlookers were curious to see us armed with cameras and questions aplenty. Many people were even too shy to respond! However one thing emerged in common- ever single person had heard of the Plant and knew about the massive scale of work being done. The town of Songadh is basically a small and close-knit community where everyone knows everyone, so when we went active on field trips, our acquaintances were more willing to do their bit in adding value to our inputs. We ended up having data in excess and compiling it into the webpages of the project has been a great learning but quite taxing as well! Since we were juggling between preparations for our annual exams while in the final stages of this project, there were many moments when people in the neighbourhood would proudly look upon us as the ‘ Children who are going to tell us the story we didn’t know’.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
The community has opened up to an all-new perspective of the JK Paper plant and members seem keen to contribute in whatever way they can. They consider it a matter of honour to be associated with the project and are curious to know the outcome. Many crucial suggestions and chance inputs have also helped us to give this project its final shape.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
The town of Songadh is peculiarly divided into three-stages, separated by a distance of 4-5 km. They are- Fort Songadh (the hub and central part), Gunsada (where the JK Paper, its township and our school is situated) and Ukai (where the Thermal Plant, the Dam and its township are). Interestingly, each of these three is a mini-suburb and the population of our school comes from all three and in almost equal measure. When we formed our groups, this was kept in mind, with a teacher in-charge of each group hailing from a different suburb too. Thus collecting data, contacting important sources and spreading the word became easier and more widespread.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Discoveries: We were happy to work as a team and to discover our own capacity of being ‘ people-smart’ and ‘camera-savvy’ . Many of us learnt valuable lessons of team-work and bonding while working towards a common goal. Though we have been studying in the company’s school and looking at its edifice every single day, we were astounded to see things up-close –right from the way crude bark is made into milky white paper to the huge Greenhouses in our plantation division where genetically modified pulp-rich plants come to life; we have walked every step of this epic story called JK Paper Ltd.
Lessons: This is our maiden step in the world of CyberFair. The project had a delayed start owing to a number of reasons. This resulted in a severe time-crunch and deadline pressure. The best lesson we got to learn was to start early, from now on.
Surprises: While on the research. We interviewed many of the colony residents and were pleased to know that we had atleast one family or employee that represented each and every of our 29 states of India. Such is the charm and so bankable is the brand name that workforce ( Vice-Presidents, Managers, Teachers, Clerks and others employed in the company and its school) from across the length and breadth of the country. The township is a splendid microcosm where barriers fade, cultures blend and humanity rules.