This Independence Day, we asked Bundelkhand how technology is setting us free.
Technology continues to change our world. It connects people, generates jobs and has changed the social fabric of our society. In a way, it is truly the most democratic presence in our lives. On India’s 73rd Independence Day, our Chief Reporter Meera Devi asked the youth of Bundelkhand, what freedom does technology give them.
For the students, there is no greater independence than being able to learn things online. With hardly any attention given to education in rural India, access to technology is probably the greatest ally they have. Priyanka, a student in Banda, agrees. “If you need any information, it’s available instantly. A Google or Chrome search throws up results instantly. That’s what technology is being used for.” Of course, a good study session is usually followed by rewarding themselves with some entertainment. “After studying, I can also use it for entertainment, for listening to music,” says Anamika, another student.
Connectivity is another way people are experiencing freedom. For Shivraj Tiwari, an IT professional, the most significant freedom is in knowing how things are happening in real-time. “I can get to know every announcement that the government makes in real-time. That’s the biggest freedom.” Amit Kumar, a bank branch manager, uses video calling to be free and still remain connected.
Shoulder-to-shoulder with access to knowledge is access to entertainment. Films and music aside, easy access to entertaining content and games, like TikTok, PUBG, and Hago is what is making us the largest consumers of data in the world. The rise of TikTok and Hago has shown the hunger that Tier II and Tier III cities have to be active creators and not just consumers of content. Manish Kumar Gupta finds apps like these make him independent. “With Hago, I can connect with new people. I get to know new things. I earn money also.”
The in-roads that technology has made in rural and lower-tier cities means that smartphone usage is growing at a faster rate than ever before, with approximately 830 million smartphone users by 2020. From entertainment, running a business or a coaching centre, technology is giving us new tools to find our freedom. Shivraj Tiwari sums it up for us, “There is full freedom. What you get out of it depends on how you use it.”
Watch the video report here.