April 26, 2006

Wi-Fi for Yaks

Yak farmers in the mountains of the fighting Nepal are using wireless internet technology to keep in touch with their families. They are taking advantage of a wi-fi network set up in a remote region of the mountain kingdom where there are no phones or other means of communication.

All of this has happened as a result of a campaign led by a local teacher Mahavir Pune, and helped by volunteers. It took him five years to connect the villages of Nangi, Paudwar, Ghara, Tikot, and Sikha to the internet.

Yak farmers are now using the network to buy and sell livestock, and exchange vetinerary tips. After getting the network in place, Pun says they could talk to the people taking care of the yak and ask them if they had problems, for example if they needed medicine or food or if they had any messages for their families. They can send message via e-mail and also they can do it through NetMeeting video conferencing software, so they can also talk.

After the first success, Pun is now trying to find ways of doing live teaching from one school by one teacher to several schools at the same time.


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