Google India plans to get 50 million women in India using the Internet within one year through a new initiative that aims to bridge the gender digital divide by providing women with easier access to technology, the company said.
With more than 200 million Internet users in the country and growing, India is set to overtake the United States as the world’s second largest market after China. Yet only one-third of India’s online users are women.’
From personal experience I can safely say that Indian women are far more sensible than the Indian males; and will be able to use the world wide web, to its great potential. Women world wide remain our greatest resources for development; especially in countries that are entering development, and need to build institutions and enterpenuers, to service human needs. Women can become the creators of the family wealth; if they are given the opportunity, to run independent services. They are quite capable of running services for small fees; in small village or towns, especially services where no one else has the facilities. Adding 50 million to 500 million women users eventually; will transform how the people of India, will live. As more interconnectedness expands, we will see more of ‘It takes a village’ attitude of the female species; where the children and family needs, will come to the forefront. Consumerism and incomes of the females will rise faster than those of the males (partially a catch up effect), as woman become economically independent. With micro finance, crowd sourcing and NGO and venture and public funding should help Female owned businesses to get off the ground and even become success stories for others to follow. Property ownership shifting to women will be the first awakening; that this is startiing, to happen at large. Given opportunities women will rise to the occasion and better support each other; and theri groups and organizations, to succeed.
With the bridging of Solar\Wind\Bio gas\fuel cells\energy sources and the greening of the environment as females are much better husbanders of our natural environment, we will see steady improvement in our relationship with the Earth. Natural produce and distribution systems catering to the family’s need will spring up; as women go more online to find life’s necessities, in an organized market, which will be more open. Banks, markets owned by women will become the new reality as modern logistic systems will be built out using the latest electronic markings and readers will move through automated delivery systems that ensure quality and speed of delivery. A person’s digital foot print will become the story of their lives as food, water, household goods and any output of spending will be tracked; and suggestions provided for what else people bought, who also bought what you bought.
With wearable.devices like glasses, or watch or phone or a bendable tablet; the internet will become ubiquitous in our lives and in cities, cars, trains and airplanes will provide instant access to information. It is how this information is used to form a community and a market place and a business that uses traditional skills and provides employment to the masses will be largely determined by such women entrepreneurs. We have to accept the fact that even in Gandhi’s land, urbanization will happen and women’s equality will no longer be at a lower level than all the other ‘reserved classes’. There is no grand plan that anyone has for this future in India; the closest we can look to is in China; where their cities exploded in the last few decades after Deng. It was of course Mao who established gender equality under communism, at a greater scale than anyone before him. In India the supreme builder is still hidden in the history books of the Taj Mahal or has not revealed himself as the next avtar of the God of cities. We have far smaller land holdings and they are fragmented and do not confirm to modern large spaces; with soaring skyscrapers for many miles, and underground and overhead public transport, to move millions around, required on a scale, unimagined before. Our planning commission and Lok and Rajya Sabha should learn from the scale of the projects carried out by the politburo of the Great Hall of the People. If you want to do something grand then you need to do it, on a grand scale.
Despite the bueauracratic bungling and political posturing in the great houses of Indian parliament; eventually saner heads will prevail, and enough land will be acquired for modern development at an unheralded pace. Modern cities within giant urban areas will stretch out around Mumbai\Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh etc. Steel, Concrete and Glass will finally rise to challenge the Nilgiri, Aravali and Himalayan peaks; in their own rights, as we have to go vertical. What will this urban jungle unleash; on an already lawless mentality, is a big moral question for our society to consider. Where women are routinely assaulted; and a girl is afraid to walk around alone in her own home town, is not a great society. Gender Equality is not something that can be given lip service to; but will need a complete social upheaval in the attitudes, towards women in society. A land where women are free to worship, learn and work in dignity is essential for a modern society to develop. As Tagore so eloquently ended his famous prayer/poem, I too state to all Indians ‘let my country awake’.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
To all the publishers of editorials and writers of intellectual writings currently prevlant on the subject of Women’s Equality; I would just like to remind people of the importance of thinking in a great society and learn that the future can be better; if we all think of what we can do, for our country and our women:
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -John F. Kennedy, 35th US president (1917-1963)