From been known as the “Land of Snake charmers” to the modern “Digitalized” India, phenomenal occurrence has happened. From writing a manuscript on “Palm Leaves” to saving data on “Micro Chips”, from sending messages through “Pigeons” to instant “Chatting” on social media and applications, a drastic change has happened. This is the modern India galloping towards the age of digitalization.
It is quite amazing that till 2014 there were only 243 million internet users, out of a population of 1.237 Billion. Only 41% of the mobile users are active on the Internet. The Indian Government has been taking different initiatives to build a society which is digital.
Private organizations are also coming forward and in coordination with the Government and local bodies support the cause. ICICI Bank has partnered with Government of Gujarat and transformed a village into a Digital village. The village – Akodara, is situated in Sabarkantha district approximately an hour’s distance from Ahmedabad.
The village has been adopted by the bank and population of 1200 people responded very well to the vision and mission of getting “Digitalized”. Now each and every adult in the village has a savings account and can operate it with ease. Use of ATM machines is very common.
Small transactions in this village, even at tiny “kirana” shops are made through Swipe Machines. The villagers can use the village Wi-Fi for all online transactions. CCTV cameras are installed at the village “Anganwadi” and “Schools”.
The most important thing of a village is the financial transaction for selling and buying “agri-produce” and “milk”. These transactions are also made easy and are done digitally, as the co-operative society has made it like that. Every villager has an “Aadhar Card” and they get all the government benefits through it directly into their bank accounts. All these have almost finished the chances of any corruption or fraud. Also the need for going to nearby DHQ for any account related issues, like monthly pension, have been reduced.
Teachers at the village school are very happy as the classrooms are digitally integrated with projector and computer. The students not only listen to the teacher but can also get the “audio-video” experience and learn faster. This makes the learning process clear in concepts and interesting as well.
The parents are digitally connected with the attendance system and they receive the important instructions and details of their wards through a simple “SMS”. The primary school has been provided with “mobile tablets” to make them learn Gujarati.
The village community has been supported by the bank in re-establishing the Reverse Osmosis based water treatment plant. This has solved the requirement of water for the villagers. The payment for the water has also been digitalized for the convenience of the villagers.
The bank has an electronic display outside it which in local Gujarati language provides information to the villagers on-
- Commodity spot prices from NCDEX – facilitating their decision to buy or sell their produce.
- Advisory on farm activities – Helping them to chalk-out what and how to do things.
- Weather and Agricultural News – Keep them updated and connected to the latest happenings around them.
This is just the beginning and Akodara is the first “Model village”. There are six lakh villages in India and are ready to be adopted and transformed into digital villages only then can we say that we are complete “Digitalized”!
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