Hard Drives Make Inroads Into Rural India
from the using-computers-everywhere dept
A very interesting article about all the work done in India to increase technology usage – especially in rural areas. While I’ve seen plenty of stories about things like the “Simputer” in India, this article makes it clear that there’s a much larger effort going on that touches many parts of the way India uses technology. A lot of this is due to government efforts, apparently. While there are private groups working on supplying technology to rural India, they say there have been problems, since so much of the technology is designed to be used by more affluent people. However, when you’re dealing with poor, rural populations, there’s also going to be backlash. When people need food, water, and medical attention, they really don’t care if their village is getting an internet kiosk. Supporters of the programs, though, say that it’s better to take a long-term view – and that these technologies will help the rural communities much more over time.
Comments on “Hard Drives Make Inroads Into Rural India”
Will success breed failure?
The net will bring some benefits (farmers being able to check market prices of crops, greater accountability of local government). However, will it not breed some harmful side effects in the long run? We could have, for example, rural children working in slave conditions as data entry operators. Auctioning of slaves to the highest bidder. Political extremists recruiting disenfranchised rural youth through the net. Rural businesses that use child laborers will find easier ways to get around sanctions. Rural smart mobs will find sophisticated ways to exclude outcastes, prevent women’s health organizations from visiting villages. Given the tragic scope of India’s social problems, the net is sure to find ways to do harm as well as good.