The application of knowledge derived from applied sciences or science as a whole or engineering for practical purposes leading to the development of machinery, devices or methods for doing a task, is what holds the key to our present and hence lays the foundation for a prominent tomorrow.
How can one apply this knowledge to serve the purpose it seeks? How can one conceptualize and initiate the process of ideation? In Greek mythology, catharsis is essential to lead to a form of epic restoration. In a similar way, a problem has to precede the birth of a solution that requires an individual or group of people to resort to such a process of ideation and this is exactly where the seeds of disparity are planted in most of the situations. When the ideation eventually evolves and takes the shape of a full-fledged solution, that is what the world calls technology. This technology is then confined to the realms of certain sects of the population who can afford to shell out the appropriate proportion of dough or has the necessary dexterity to attain the technology in question. While this might not always be true, the situation is definitely widespread.
Here lies the first aspect of this write-up: the accessibility of technology. In today’s world where we often talk about collaboration in order to cater to the problems that endure our world, very few subscribe to the open-sourced kind of a platform- a platform where anyone and everyone can fabricate blueprints to disentangle the complications and share the boons of technology with the entire world. This is because a free world with restricted access to the blessings of technology will never achieve equity and will never be free in its true form. Technology is the gold of the 21st century and this wealth when restricted in the hands of few will lead to an over enveloping blanket of disparity. Hence, accessibility of technology is what we should strive to achieve.
Drawing from accessibility, the focus now makes a transition to usability. Possessing technology and not knowing how to use it will be like going on a wild goose chase. It will be like a dead dog that will never bark. Orientation for the same is of utmost importance. In a country like India, the usability of technology is a big concern. As per an article published by ‘Rural Marketing’ on 25th September, 2017, only 5.2 percent of rural households possess a computer at home versus 18.7 percent in urban areas. Urban Internet penetration stands at 8.3 percent, as compared to 0.7 percent in rural areas. Similar findings have been reported by the 66th National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). As per the report, only 3.5 of 1,000 households had Internet connectivity at home in rural areas, while 59.5 urban households had Internet connectivity in 2010. Eighty-two percent of urban households have a telephone/mobile facility, while the percentage stands at 54 in rural areas. The penetration of mobile phones amounts to 48 percent in rural versus 64 percent in urban areas (Census 2011). Further, as of the 71st NSSO, 8.8 percent of the rural population possess computing ability versus 30.2 percent in urban areas. Only 7.8 percent of the total rural populace aged fourteen and above, are digitally literate.
Usage of technology is more than surfing Facebook, sending messages through WhatsApp and watching videos on Youtube. In a country like India, which is striving towards the glory of a nation with equity, we need to work towards the creation of platforms or conclaves through which people could be abridged about how relevant technology could be used for one’s betterment. There is a dire need for individuals or organizations that could build the connection and ensure that the technology is used in a smart manner by the wider population of the nation.
The last perspective that we should also venture into is the feasibility of the technology. What is the degree of feasibility of getting something addressed through a particular technology? In an age where technology has become a saleable entity and everyone claims to address the aggregated needs of an individual or community through their respective technologies, how can one choose? How can one decide?
There is a huge scope for misinformation to be disseminated, at places where usability is itself a concern. In spaces where age-old methods had been used to address certain issues, people are often stringent and do not like shifting to new ideas. Often in a hurry to resort to new technology, people fall into the pit to acquiring an application that might prove to be utterly useless or might do harm than good. We also need to understand how a form of technology can reach everyone in India where internet connectivity is still a concern. We need to chalk out pathways that would lead to the creation of offline content wherever required.
This is where a platform like #Tech4Good proves to be expedient for different organizations working to create educational and social parity in the society. This is a conclave of fellows making an endeavour to make technology accessible, usable and feasible for the beneficiaries.
Under the guidance of experts with a cause for the betterment of the society, #Tech4Good provides the guidance, builds capacity and enhances the skills of the Fellows by simplifying technology itself thereby increasing the degree of accessibility, usability and feasibility of the technology. #Tech4Good expands the horizon for its fellows, who in turn can multiply the benefits in their networks and the beneficiaries they work with. It is like a prodigious ripple effect of technology starting from the source of #Tech4Good and reaching the intended community. #Tech4Good commences a realm which the fellows can use to understand more about data management, communications, evaluation, financial nuances and innovation and helping them by creating networks of intellect and sharable resources.
It was a brilliant journey which I was able to embark and hope to fulfil in the company of other brilliant #Tech4Good. There will never be a goodbye and I hope we all could continue our journey ensuring the accessibility, usability and feasibility of the application of the knowledge, which the world calls as TECHNOLOGY.
Cheers to the journey ahead!