Exploring the challenges and opportunities of implementing technology in rural Indian villages.
More than advancing the technology that is available to us, it is critical to introspect how technology is helping the prosperity of humankind and the well-being of our environment in general. Even though the technology has evolved significantly in the last two to three decades, we were already launching spaceships with minimal technology available to use earlier. So, just advancing the available technology alone would not yield the advancement of humankind!
On a similar note, even though we are technically advanced comparatively, we are far behind in yielding the output which makes our lives better. This problem is even more significant in Indian villages. Indian villages have good access to smartphones, computers, the internet, etc. to take advantage of the technology.
I would like to call the current phase of technology accessibility to Indian villages, the initial phase where we just explore the possibilities of the technology available. People are getting comfortable with smart devices, accessing the internet from the hand, moving daily activities to internet-based, consuming online content, etc. These are very initial steps for the full adaptation of the technology in the later stages. Here are a few areas where technology can help the Indian villages.
It is needless to say that the villages in India are heavily agriculture driven. Unlike other countries where agriculture and farming are advanced because of technical advancements, the Indian agriculture industry is almost stuck with old-school methods. There are a lot of opportunities for technology to disrupt the Indian agriculture industry. Weather forecasting, better and efficient watering methods, accessibility to water resources to the farms, harvesting natural fertilizers, yielding better outcomes with natural methods, efficient electricity delivery methods, ways to reduce the wastage of produce at transit, getter better deals for the produce, etc. are few areas where technology can help Indian villages.
Because the villages are smaller compare to towns and cities, the governance is closer, visible, and tangible in villages than it is in cities. People in villages often don't have basic facilities like water, poor electricity, drainage management, roads, transit, public infra, etc. because of multiple challenges. Even though politics plays the main role, technology can solve most of the problems in the long run. Having transparent policies, public forums about the problems people are facing, distributed ownership, and accountability can lead to better governance which ultimately results in the nation's development.
Providing better health conditions is the fundamental job of the government. The hospital conditions in villages are very poor compare to towns and cities. Access to basic and primary hospitals is mandatory even for villages. Even though governments have been working on providing this, there is a huge gap between what is available and what could be possible. This gap can be filled significantly with the use of technology. Having a hospital with an emergency ward, facilities for enough patients, medicines, staff, equipment, better obstetrics and gynecology departments, etc. are a few areas where technology can help.
Few more areas where technology can help in Indian villages
- Research and development