There are about 2,50,000 panchayats in India encompassing around 6,50,000 villages and majority of them are not connected to the internet. Through PMGDISHA program, 3.67 lakh CSC VLEs are providng knowledge of the computers and access to the internet, thus helping them come out of information darkness and access their rights.
Bharti Devi, hailing from village Blater, District Samba, Jammu and Kashmir is a PMGDISHA beneficiary. Before PMGDISHA training, she did not know to use a computer, android phones etc but with the help of this training and VLE Kushal Singh, she claims that a lot of people of her village have become digitally literate. Bharti says, “Our family is poor and we couldn’t afford a computer training, but this is a great initiative taken by the government of India and CSC, providing computer literacy and training, free of cost”.
During the training, she learnt various aspects of digital literacy, how to manage and use it. She also learnt how to use BHIM app, how to use email accounts, social media, computer typing, online transactions etc; Now, she does all her banking transactions through BHIM app and searched for a job using her new smart phone, she created her resume and shared it through her email ID. Bharti now works with a private firm in Samba.
Digital divide and gender gaps in internet accessibility is a key factor in augmenting economic resources for national progression. A nation can manage to reflect positive progress only when the gender gaps are very less or comparatively negligible.
Digital literacy enhances the abilities of the women in particular and community in general to use digital technologies for meaningful actions within challenging life situations. Digitally literate women can operate computer related devices and help them in the process of nation building through economic activities. But a key factor that is hindering the growth of a digital India is the shortage of skilled work force this can be filled by women. There are thousands of stories like Bharti Devi across various villages where the gender gaps in internet usage are also being filled through CSCs by augmenting basic educational resources for women in rural areas.