Expanding digital footprint among rural girls

Technologically empowered girls paving the way for an informed, information-led society

Ankit Ojha and Arti Manchanda Grover | October 26, 2023


#gender   #development   #Technology   #education  
Afsina with her grandmother (Photo Courtesy S M Sehgal Foundation)
Afsina with her grandmother (Photo Courtesy S M Sehgal Foundation)

In the adjoining districts of Alwar, Rajasthan, and Nuh in Haryana, rural girls have leveraged digital awareness to access government programs related to health, education, public distribution system, and more. They have also used these skills for educational purposes, such as research, downloading exam IDs, and checking their results. Additionally, some students have applied their knowledge to create invitation cards and assist their families with mobile phone recharges, online shopping, and money transfers.

The development of an informed, information-led society significantly drives socioeconomic progress. Small successes achieved by students in villages, such as Devla Nangli, Mahua Khurd, Sangail, Jethana and Indragarh, have initiated positive changes in these communities, leading girls to increase their digital footprint.

Afsina, a student of class 11 at the Government Higher Secondary School in Mahua Khurd, Alwar, serves as an example of the impact of digital knowledge. She helped her family access a health benefit under a government program that they were previously unaware of. Through her timely intervention and registration with the Janaadhar card (of Janaadhar Yojana of the government of Rajasthan), her grandmother received free treatment under the state-run Chief Minister Chiranjeevi Scheme, covering medical costs for the families of small farmers and contractual labors registered under the Food Security Act. This averted a substantial expense, which her family could not have otherwise afforded.

Class 9 student Shanu Gautam’s digital awareness saved her family from becoming a victim of online fraud. Shanu (in pic, left), a resident of village Bas Putli in Indragarh, Alwar, says, “If we had not learned about cyber security in our Digital and Life Skills Awareness class, perhaps I would have become a victim of the fraud of a car jackpot won by us, and we would have lost money. Money is earned with a lot of hard work.”

These girls exemplify the “Taruni” initiative being conducted across several states under the Transform Lives One School at a Time program of the S M Sehgal Foundation is bridging the digital divide in rural areas.

Through village-level centres, the initiative is providing digital awareness and life skills education, empowering girls to lead. Digital technology enhances education, reduces unemployment, and promotes socioeconomic development; but for youth, especially girls, to benefit from these opportunities, they need to be equipped with technological skills and access to digital devices.

As we move closer to 2030, the importance of acquiring digital skills has become critical. These essential skills encompass a range of abilities, such as internet searching, online communication through emails or instant messaging, use of online platforms, and understanding digital financial services. According to UNESCO (2020), only 40 percent of primary schools and 66 percent of secondary schools worldwide have internet access.

To engage meaningfully in society, girls must be equipped with the skills and opportunities to advance their vision of a connected future.

Ankit is Assistant Program Lead, Transform Lives One School At A Time, and Arti is Senior Manager, Public Relations with S M Sehgal Foundation.

Comments

 

Other News

Voter turnout: Drop from 2019 reduces further

As the voting percentages dropped drastically in the first couple of phases of the ongoing general elections, observers and analysts spoke of ‘voter apathy’ blamed it on a lack of “wave” this time – apart from the heatwave, that is. The latest figures after the fourth phase, h

GAIL reports annual revenue of Rs.1,30,638 crore

GAIL (INDIA) Limited has reported 75% increase in Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs.11,555 crore in FY24,  as against Rs 6,584 Cr in FY23. Profit after Tax (PAT) in FY24 stands at Rs. 8,836 Cr as against Rs.5,302 Cr in FY23, a 67 % increase. However, revenue from operations registered a fa

Women move forward, one step at a time

“Women’s rights are not a privilege but a fundamental aspect of human rights.” —Savitribai Phule In India, where almost two-thirds of the population resides in rural areas, women’s empowerment initiatives are extremely critical for intensifying l

Why you should vote

What are the direct tangible benefits that you want from the government coming in power? The manifestos of various parties set a host of agendas which many times falls back in materialising the intended gains. Governance failures, policy lapses, implementation gaps, leadership crisis and cultural blockages

How the role of Ayurveda evolved pre- and post-independence

Ayurveda, Nation and Society: United Provinces, c. 1890–1950 By Saurav Kumar Rai Orient BlackSwan, 292 pages, Rs 1,400  

General Elections: Phase 4 voting on in 96 seats

As many as 17.7 crore electors are eligible to vote in the fourth phase of general elections taking place on Monday in 10 states/UTs. 175 Legislative Assembly seats of Andhra Pradesh and 28 Legislative Assembly seats of Odisha are also going to polls in this phase. Polling time in select as

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter