Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Italian Job

'Donating Computer from Italy' read the subject of the email which was tagged DYPC in my GMail.

DYPC is what we call fondly. is a website that I cofounded and now manage. This site is a place where people who want to donate their old computers or periherals can register their donation offer details and non-profit organizations like NGOs, schools etc who need PCs but can't afford to buy new machines, can request for these donated computers.
We occasionally get donation offers from people in India and a few times even foreign nationals have offered to donate PC (which we had to politely reject!) but most of them were from USA, so 'Italy' was the only surprise part in the subject.

However as I read that email, my initial euphoria evaporated. Read this:
"I recently got a new computer, since the previous (a desktop) no longer worked under any operating system. I checked it in depth and have come to the conclusion that the only unusable components are its motherboard and its graphics card. Of course these add to a monitor and a keyboard, as well as some cables, to spare.
Knowing that India is rapidly becoming a hotbed of innovations in IT, I was struck by the idea to donate it to some needy people in said country, who may very well make a great use of it."

Even if you don't try to read between the lines, you can easily understand that our Italian friend was trying to 'donate' a computer whose motherboard/graphics card were not working. I don't know whether monitor and keyboard were part of the defective lot too! To top it all he tried to dump this piece of hardware shit in the name of helping needy people while trying to flatter us.

It didn't end there. "I would feel guilty if I tried to sell those parts, although I can find no one who is interested in buying them". Wow! So he did try to sell off the junk but could not find anyone and hence the philanthropic streak.

We often read that thousands of tons of electronic waste is sent to developing countries like India from Europe and North America. So I am quite sure that even though I refused his donation offer now, this computer will reach some part of our country on a ship someday for recycling.

(Check out if you want to donate your old computer or would like to volunteer)

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Vaibhav said...

Nice writeup ..great work !

Md. Muddassir Shah said...

first of all,
I loved the link to your blog. Removing?
Removing wat?? :)

Secondly, yes, I agree with you.
WE have become the dumping grounds of electronic garbage.
TIme we started making right noises against such activities