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An IT professional (MCA graduate from Madurai Kamaraj University,Campus,1993-96 batch), Rm. Thiruchelvam from Alampattu village, in the Sivaganga District of Tamil Nadu, moved by the problems of the rural sector and realizing the potential of internet technology, left a lucrative job as well as business plans 12 years ago to take up the cause of rural development.

With the support of his like minded friends in IT field (particularly U.P. Uthamkumar, SS. Jeyakumar and G. Vengateshkumar), the team did four years of intensive study of the social, economic and administrative problems that are wrecking rural India.

The major observation the team found was, since there is no effective input validation available at the grassroot in the present system for rural activities, particularly farming, such as demand forecast, cultivation procedures, input supply management, disease control, marketing…etc, issues like low quality & productivity, glut in production, desperate selling, impact of drought & flood, etc., get out of control and affect the rural folk adversely. Since rural sector heavily depends on agriculture, once agriculture fails, they are stranded.

Based on the analysis, the team has developed a comprehensive web system, it-rural.com that intent to provide an Information and Communication Technology driven, agriculture focused integrated solution to increase the " per capita earning" of villagers (particularly marginal and smaller farmers) and improve the quality of their life through a series of facility related services in a sustainable way.

The model comprehensively addresses the key components of agricultural sector such as optimal quality & yield, better price realization to farmers, balanced production and strengthening institutional credit system

The team wanted to showcase a model which can prove their belief. The hard work has yielded the result. With lots of deliberations the team got an opportunity to carry out a pilot project in Pulivendala, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh.

The belief is proved with the pilot project carried out investing our own funds to the extent of Rs. 1 Crore ( USD 200,000). Central and State Governments and other major bodies like NASSCOM, IL & FS, CDAC, FAO have appraised the model as a unique, proven & replicable model. To get the legal status to go beyond pilot, a company is formed in the name of ITR Technologies India Private Limited.  

As per our plan of scaling-up the model to cover the entire villages of kadapa district (1000 kiosks), the proposal submitted on Public Private Partnership mode has been approved by the Government (15-Mar-2008) under Rashtria Krishi Vikas Yojana Programme, a Government of India Scheme (Support of Rs. 8.94 Crores from Government towards Capital Investment and Rs. 54 Crores from Private Partners as Recurrence expense for four years period) . We have been waiting... for the administrative order to start the project. The company we registered, went idle and we move now with the banner of 'team of technocrats'.

In order to move forward the mission to the greater level, the following experts have joined the team:

* Mr.S.Padmanabhan, a banker with a passion and commitment to bring in the technology to rural India and a firm belief that “bridging the gap” is a paramount importance for the development of the country. He has 2 decades of experience in banking and other 2 decades of experience in IT.

* Mr.Ramasubba Reddy (Senior Scientist, Agri), Retired scientist from Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, having 40+ years of experience in the field of extension and committed to the development of farming community.

Sincerely trying to make IT works... A challenging task! But not a difficult one!
 
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