About the theme

According to a World Bank report, increasing mobile penetration by a mere 10 per cent will increase per capita GDP in developing countries by 0.81 per cent. Growing mobile phone penetration in rural regions will lead to the next wave of growth in the adoption of digital technology. The opportunity is ripe for designing early-level interventions to help rural communities discover the power of the digital medium and the internet in a structured and guided manner. However, in order to achieve this, traditional societal barriers that women face, concerning exposure to technology and handling of gadgets, have to be overcome.

More than 66 per cent of India’s population lives in rural areas, of which close to 70 per cent depends on agriculture for its livelihood. They have little or no access to education, transport, financial services and the Internet. This is a huge barrier to encouraging rural entrepreneurship, implementing digital and financial inclusion, and building rural capacities and livelihoods. Enhancing the scope of digital penetration to rural communities would help in expanding the scope of the various initiatives that are already in place to help develop greater prosperity for all. The Tata Trusts are focusing on bringing innovative technologies and approaches across different sectors to enhance the quality of life in rural communities.

Under the goal of digital literacy, the Trusts provide guided online experiences that help users discover and mine information that is most useful and relevant to their life – information that will eventually decrease the current information gap faced in the region. The Trusts are successfully nurturing a growing community of digitally-savvy women who act as proponents and torch-bearers of the digital literacy programme. Armed with the newly-acquired digital skills, these women feel liberated and acknowledge that their work has now become remunerative and satisfying.

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