The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) partnered with the British Council Library, Colombo in celebrating the World Book Day last Saturday (6).
Amidst fun and fantasy with interactive story telling for young learners, treasure hunt for adults and opportunities for walking away with gifts at the end of fantasy dressing up like a favourite character in a book and competitions including magic balloons organised by BCL, the ICTA team made its own offers to the visitors to the Global Book Day.
What the ICTA team offered was also fun. You just dial 1919 using any phone within 8.00 a.m. and 8 .00 p.m. and you ‘walk’ away with a ‘gift’ – being informed in a courteous manner of the Government Institution that should be contacted for solving your problem. That is only one of the many ways the dividends of ICT are carried to the people, especially the less privileged put in place under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Services and facilities they talked about besides the Government Information Centre (GIC) more popularly known as 1919, included the Lanka Government Network, eRevenue Licence, and the 600 Nenasalas set up island-wide with facilities for internet, email etc. similar to those available at the British Council Library, though in a les cozy way.
Information was also given to the visitors about ICTA information tools package ranging from the web-site address www.icta.lk prominently shown at the ICTA counter of the day at BCL to the ICTA electronic and print media outlets such as, the Nenapiyasa (ICTA Sinhala half-hour Radio programme) [City FM 92.20 on Thursdays from 5.30 to 6.00 p.m.], Subharati (ICTA Sinhala one-hour Radio programme) [SNS FM 98.5 on Tuesdays from 7.00 to 8.00 a.m.], Nenapiyasa (ICTA Sinhala TV Programme ) [Rupavahini from 12.00 noon to 12.30 p.m. on Saturdays], Arivodayam (ICTATamil Radio programme) [TNS and TCS‘Thendral’ FM 101.3 on Saturdays from 8,00 to 8.30 a.m. ): the main ICTA print media tools meant for the general public include bimonthly newsletters – The Catalyst (English), Nenapata (Sinhala) and Arivedu (Tamil) and a variety of leaflets connected with ICTA-initiated projects.
A special ‘contribution’ by ICTA on this World Book Day conducted at the British Council Library Colombo was the gift of three copies of the English cum Sinhala ICTA publication. “Numerations in the Sinhala Language” . Authored by Harsha Wijayawardhana of UCSC and edited by Aruni Gunatilleke of ICTA the work inter alia shows that Sinhala numerals were used in the Kandyan Convention signed between the Kandyan chieftains and the British Governor in 1815. Anuri de Silva in charge of the British Council Library Young Learners’ Section said that the copies thus donated would be passed on to the Library’s lending section. Free copies of this book were also distributed to interested visitors to the ICTA counter of the ICTA-BCL World Book Day.
ICTA sources said that it was observed that adult visitors to the British Council Library World Book Day conducted mainly for young learners showed a keen interest in the ‘gift’ package of knowledge that ICTA counter offered. The young learners accompanying them were more drawn to the story telling, body painting and other lighter events.