n-Logue: The Story of a Rural Service Provider In India
AbstractCan rural Information Communication Technology (ICT) be an effective tool to bridge the digital divide? How can the Internet help developing nations and their disadvantaged in particular? Those who lobby in favour of rural ICT believe that Internet is not just a means of communication but is also an enabler of livelihood in rural areas and therefore, power. For a very long time now, the developing world has carried the burden of colonization and slavery. This has resulted in a lack of confidence among developing economies and the belief that they are not at par with the rest of the world. The lack of access has curtailed their ability to compete. In fact, ingenuity and hard work hasnt been adequate for one to enjoy economic and social benefit. In order to acquire these benefits, access to resources like education, health and employment become critical. Internet has been a boon in this regard. Today, one can be in the remotest corner of the world and as long as there is access to Internet enjoy access to education, health and resources. This allows them to compete and use their ingenuity and hard work to bring about a significant difference to their lives. This paper concentrates on how ICT can affect the lives of rural people in the developing world. The total rural population of the developing world is about 3.5 billion, with their average per capita income being no more than $ 200 per year. India, with 700 million rural people located in 600,000 villages, is a reflection of the developing world. The key issue that is addressed in the paper is whether technology can bring about a difference in the lives of people who earn less than half a dollar a day. Can health and education be made available to them? Can they afford the Internet? And ultimately, can it significantly enhance their livelihoods and income?
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