Monday, 2 February, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire and the Indian IT Industry

Think you know everything about Slumdog Millionaire? I bet you dont know how the Indian IT Industry provided the basic inspiration for this film...

Done believe me? Read this...

Slumdog Millionaire - as inspired by Indian outsourcing

Last night I went to see the brilliant new film Slumdog Millionaire. Directed by Danny Boyle and based on a novel by Vikas Swarup, the movie tells the story of a young man from a Mumbai slum who achieves success on the TV game show Who wants to be a millionaire. His horrific experience of life in the slum gives him the exact knowledge required for each of the quiz answers. The movie has just won four Golden Globes this week and is being tipped for Oscar success, so it comes strongly recommended by most critics.

My Facebook status indicated that I was out watching the movie and this morning I noticed that Anil Tikoo, from the Indian technology firm NIIT, had posted a message on my wall suggesting that his firm was the inspiration for the movie! I dug around on the internet and - sure enough - he was right.

In 1999, Dr Sugata Mitra carved a hole in the wall of the NIIT offices in Delhi, a wall that divided NIIT from a neighbouring slum. Mitra left a computer there, available for the slum kids to use, but without any training or instruction. Within a month the kids were familiar with the operating system and could use the computer to access the web. The ‘hole-in-the-wall’ experiment became a well-known example of innate ability and Mitra and NIIT have developed a strong corporate social responsibility programme thanks to the success of this experiment.

When the experiment was publicised, Vikas Swarup heard of it and was fascinated by the idea that anybody from any background could do something extraordinary, provided they get an opportunity. He wrote his novel based on this idea, and the rest is history.



Source: Mark K Hillary's blog

2 comments:

B2 said...

If you have not watched Dr. Mitra's talk on TED on his experiment how kids teach themselves, you should:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html

Anonymous said...

hmm very interesting...
from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!