| April 23, 2018

MIC Nepal’s SunPod supporting earthquake victims make calls, recharge devices

MIC Nepal’s SunPod supporting  earthquake victims make calls,  recharge devices
KATHMANDU, June 25: After providing free Skype call services to around 500 earthquake victims in Kathmandu, Dhulikhel, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal (MIC Nepal) is now offering a Microsoft SunPod to help people in need. The MIC Nepal received the SunPod from Microsoft two weeks ago.

The SunPod is run on solar power and it is used to charge the batteries of mobile phones and torch lights. At one time, eight devices can be charged in the SunPod. MIC Nepal has currently placed the SunPod at the football ground in Jawalakhel. Since its placement at Jawalakhel, almost 60 people have been using the SunPod each day.
And though the free Skype call amenity for the general public no longer exists, MIC Nepal is giving people access to free Skype calls through its Internet service. The service, available through the SunPod itself, allows people to use the Wi-Fi and 3G facilities to place calls to both mobile and landline phones in any part of the world.

Apart from MIC staff on the ground, Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs) have volunteered to help people use the SunPod correctly. There are four volunteers in Jawalakhel each day. They're helping people make international calls on Skype, recharge their devices, and also checking that the SunPod is giving Internet connectivity.

According to Suvasini Shrestha, Public Relations Manager for Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal, the SunPod will be available for communities in other areas if they request it.

Shrestha says, "We plan to take the SunPod from one area to another to serve various communities who have been hardest hit by the earthquake. We stationed the SunPod in Jawalakhel because there are still over 300 people living there in tents, with majority of them handicapped and on wheelchairs. So we thought it would be very helpful for them. There is no time limit to the calls they want to make and anyone who has been affected by the earthquake and has no proper shelter is welcome to make use of these services."

MIC Nepal will be continuing to give these services till there is demand from the people.