Amin: They say the world has a digital divide. In the digital world, there is a further divide-the users and the techies. Take the case of cyber cafes which are the places from where most Indians access the e-mail. The cafe owner takes care of PC upkeep,
viruses etc ( He is a techie in his own right!) so the user is free to reap the benfits only- of emails-at a small price for the connect time. It is this user I had in mind when I was talking of empowerment.
I cannot agree more with you about the impact of the moving picture in spreading any kind of awareness. I am a film maker myself. I make films when I feel a strong need to communicate - like some would write articles or books. So, the knowledge centre at
the village must be a multimedia machine, capable of showing films, apart from storing data, communicating etc.
Coming back to our original topic of creating entrepreneurs at the village centre through e-governance. Allow me to quote Mr. Narayanmurthy, Chairman Infosys
“ About 650 million people live in the villages, and agriculture accounts for 26% of India’s GDP, which is about $162 billion. Divide $162 billion by 650 million, you get about $250 each. That is one-third the per capita income of India, which is about $700.
You could try increasing the productivity of India’s farm sector so it shoots up to about $ 1 trillion, but that’s a really tough task. Conversely, we could reduce the number of people dependent on agriculture, let’s say make it 450 million, and simultaneously
raise farm output to around $350 billion. This too would significantly raise per capita income, and it is far more manageable.”
But is it really manageable if we let “natural forces” to take charge? Faced by failed agriculture incomes, people are migrating to nearby cities in uncontrolled and mismanaged numbers. Creating knowledge centres in the villages will tempt the new job seekers
to stay back and become cyber entrepreneurs.