It is no secret that the life of women in interior villages is far worse than we can imagine. Among the darkness here is the ray of hope acting as the initial steps for the change.
RakhiUikey from Madhya Pradesh is a name that is bringing in the change which is leading women towards living a better life.
She teaches women in her village how to use a mobile phone and access the Internet. She visits every house where women are mostly illiterate and welcome them to the world of internet. She starts by teaching the basics of how to operate a mobile then slowly exploring net.
Not only in her own village but she visits the neighboring places too. She is actually a part of an all Indian based project known as ‘Internet Saathi.’ Internet Saathi is actually a project initiated by Google and Tata Trusts with the implementation of several other organizations across the state including Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF).
Rakhi is one 3000 women across Madhya Pradesh rural areas who have undergone a three-day training to train other women in using a mobile phone and the Internet. They have been equipped with a smartphone.
The mobile for these women is just not a mere tool of communication but it serves as a way of being liberated from the shackles of social barrier. Over the time a great change is even visible among the Saathis or the women who are taught to use mobile.
For many of them, it has been their first experience to use a smartphone. Nisha Umri, from Pipariya in Madhya Pradesh, was the first one in her family to use a smartphone. According to her mobile phone and Internet connection can help women in liberating and connecting with the outside world.
A 21-year old Saathi, Arti Kahar from Saohagpur in Madhya Pradesh says that she had shown women videos of stitching and then they wanted to watch more stitching videos on YouTube and started stitching by borrowing stitching machines instead of traveling to the nearest towns to get their clothes stitched.
Slowly a community created where women are seeing the potential of a mobile phone changing their life and becoming self-reliant with the help of each other. They are slowly breaking their social and cultural barriers.
This indeed is a worthy initiative that is creating the opportunity for women to be independent and decide for their own future. What is your take on the same?