The difference now is that the 98.5% who did not have access to the Internet in 2002 were not in complete information darkness, but in this hyper-connected post-COVID world, the 50% who are not online are in complete information darkness.
Today digital tools and connectivity are the most important and democratic tools to pull people out of deprivation and provide them with equitable access to information about education, health, livelihood, governance, rights and more. Almost every piece of information is parked online. Governance has moved to e-Governance. Access to entitlements is now available through the online route.
However, there is still a large populace of rural Indians who don’t have access to the Internet. We understand the importance of providing people with connectivity, to make people digitally literate, to encourage people to adopt digital tools and to establish connectivity as basic infrastructure.
Within this context, there is huge scope for the digital to create a big impact at the grassroots level bringing in access to information and digital knowhow to the communities by connecting them to the larger world digitally. For this, the digitally equipped youth have a huge role to play by working with communities to bring out a digital revolution at the grassroots.