By Faiz Ahmed
Gojal Valley is the land of peace loving and rationally thinking people who always adopt positive changes. This land had been totally remote for many decades and people of this part used to live in total darkness. Until there was Mir’s rule in Gojal, no one was allowed to get modern education, except for the family of the Mir himself. After decline of the Mir’s dynasty, Gojal Valley took a new turn, heading for education, development and modernization.
There are two milestones in the recent history of Gojal that connected this remote valley to the world and brought in prosperity and harmony in the form of education, technology and standard of living: The Karakorum highway- land route between Pakistan and China, which brought business opportunities to this valley- and Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah’s chain of Diamond Jubilee (DJ) schools, which is part of Aga Khan Education Service Pakistan (AKESP). These developments gave a beam of light to the people of Gojal Valley and on the basis of these, people of the valley established community-based schools.
After the Attabad landslide disaster of Jan. 4, 2010, which blocked the passageway of the Hunza River and gave birth to an artificial lake, people of Gojal Valley have suffered from severe difficulties. The land route was disconnected, homes were drowned, other properties were lost and hundreds of families suffered as a result.
The relief provided by the government of Pakistan, China and the NGO sector somehow helped the affected people overcome the losses, but the valley still remains disconnected from rest of the region and country, even four years after the Attabad disaster. Harsh winter has pushed the people of Gojal Valley into further intricacy.
A non-governmental organization, Karakorum Area Development Organization (KADO), has recently taken a revolutionary step by establishing an i-Tech Center in Gojal and offering free of cost trainings to the marginalized segments. KADO i-Tech Center Gulmit provides free access to computers and the Internet to the people besides training young people in using the Internet to enhance their employability. The organization is also facilitating trainees coming from other villages by providing them free of cost transport service.
Other people, apart from the trainees, also get connected to the world through the Internet service at KADO i-Tech Center Gulmit, give online interviews for employment through Skype and transfer money to their children who are out of Gojal for education or other purpose. People also come here to get business related consultancy and to plan new ventures. The courses being offered include e-marketing and online resource mobilization.
As we all are well aware of all the undesirable activities like the use of drugs in which the youth is badly engaged now a days, the step taken by KADO is without doubt revolutionary in essence. The project is running very successfully and this is being indicated from the fact that hundreds of people are applying for trainings there each month. I would like to extend my congratulations to KADO i-Tech team for such a successful and ground-breaking march. Kudos!
Faiz Ahmed is a newbie writer who has passion to write about technology, music, social issues and development. He is a student of business at the Karakoram International University, Gilgit. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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