The demand should be from the community themselves, but awareness is necessary to create that demand. We focused on same thing and got overwhelming response at CAN info tech '08. I bet we could have easily sell couple thousands of XOs there. Situation is definitely different at remote places. With fewer way to reach them, and aware them. I wonder what will be the consequence of distributing laptops to kids without proper community awareness and with zero liabilities to community.
"It is good to get OLPC Laptop deployed in country, it is even better if we get it for free" But wait! Is it really as good if we get it for free? I don't think so. I feel there must be some paying mechanism, either pre-paid or post-paid. The essence of OLPC implementation in country like ours should be as a system rather than as a product or tool.Papa will you buy it for me?
schemes like G1G1 might not be as suitable for our economy but selling laptops in bulk to urban private school won't hurt either. Since government is keen on moving the OLPC concept forward they should atleast play the role of implementer and leader with large community base supporting them at back. OLPC could be integrated in current government plan to mobilize graduate student to villages in order to facilitate education. Thousand of students graduating in technical discipline per year, if can be mobilized on little fraction to volunteer in OLPC will surely become large technical support base on long run. These schemes could fundamentally save deployment and development cost off the project.
We are waiting!!
Coming to the point I started first, what I think will be best is have three mechanism for XO distribution from Government perspective. SELL, SUBSIDY or SERVICE. In Subsidy version of distribution mechanism government could get the payment of laptops in term basis or provide loan from micro finance. In service model government get eventually paid by asking guardians to do social service or help certain aspect of project for certain period. In this way government and community will benefit on long run and there will be less financial burden to both government as well as community. This mechanism could also help sustainability of project.
These are all my calculation which may or may not coincide with all, but local level fund generation will certainly be effective then 100% donated laptop, atleast from ownership and sustainability point of view.