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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 October, 2004, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Computer hope for Indian children
computer keyboard
Computers are being shipped to an Indian town
More than 300 computers are being shipped to India as part of a project to improve children's prospects.

A former mayor of Derby is behind the scheme to deliver the computers to the schoolchildren of Kapurthala, 45 miles from the city of Amritsar.

Ahok Kahlia said the computers would improve job opportunities for youngsters from poorer families.

He said: "It's better than giving them money. Government schools in India have few IT facilities."

Mr. Kahlia said the second-hand computers had been donated by companies and individuals.

The computers are being shipped to India in a 40ft container on Monday.

They will go by road from Derby to the port of Felixstowe, and then by sea to Bombay, where they will be taken by rail on to Kapurthala.

Competitive edge

Mr. Kahlia said: "Derby has a long established friendship link with Kapurthala.

"Many people of Indian origin now living in Derby came from within a 50-mile radius of this place.

"People who have money send their children to local private schools to get IT training, and it means poorer families keep on falling behind.

"Being given these computers will give them a more competitive edge, and hopefully lead to better opportunities for themselves and their families."

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