Islamabad: Mira Bagwal, located near the Pakistani capital, has earned the distinction of becoming the country`s first e-village.
Mira Bagwal has been wired with a 2-MB broadband Internet connection so that its residents can seek medical help via video conferencing.
Intel will provide 20 laptops and two desktop computers while Cisco has offered to help establish a training laboratory.
Two universities have offered to help to promote e-access in the village, according to Pakistan Social Association chief coordinator Amar Jaffery.
Online libraries, tele-medicine and several technology-based initiatives too are in the pipeline. However, the concept of e-village is being pooh-poohed by some Pakistanis.
"Where are the doctors who are going to actually sit in front of a camera to talk to these villagers? What a scam!" wrote Salman in a comment on a Pakistani ezine.
"Just wait till the villagers get their first iPhones. Those doctors will then be able to provide e-medicine easily through the e-syringe connected via Bluetooth...," he said in a sarcastic post.
Watan Aziz, another reader, didn`t agree with the idea.
"And who is checking their e-grammar and e-spellings? They might kill the folks with wrong e-prescriptions." He added: "But the real question is will the villages also get e-water pumps and e-water?" He also wondered if the government was doing anything about the water crisis in such villages.
"And finally, will this initiative be supported in e-Urdu and e-local languages? We e-cannot e-have e-progress e-without e-it...But seriously, let`s give any good news a try, even if it is a good e-gimmick," he said.
Some others gave a thumbs up to the e-village. "Every long journey starts with a single step. I hope all this moves fast enough to other remote cities as well. It is about time we progress as this land is gold and we have skills, talent and everything to be a perfect country all united," wrote another reader.
One netizen took the argument further, citing the example of India.
"I would rather be happy if villagers could trade through Internet, the way they do in India where post offices provide connectivity to commodity exchanges," he wrote.