“I never asked my father for a smartphone, because he even couldn’t arrange the proper meal for us,” said Sonam daughter of Hari and Rampari. Sonam was a brilliant student who had a dream to become a civil servant but she could not finish her secondary studies because of the disseminated post-pandemic revolution. Sonam lives in Gohaliyapur an exile village near Kanpur (UP). Her father was a cook in a hostel that shut down due to pandemic commotion. Sonam could not continue her studies; her ideas and dreams were eradicated because of her family condition.
Punjab university had done research in 2021 where they stated that in 2020 and 2021 there were around 12 million students from rural India who abounded their dream of studying because of changes in schemes. The more problematic factor is that regimes avoid these such data and take null notes of them. So, it is not just a story with Sonam but with millions.
A broken bridge
Around 60 percent of the rural area in India lives in frugal circumstances also with less reach to the outer world, which has even increased after the COVID damages. Digital India is still waiting to be accepted in many rural areas. Small vendors, vegetable sellers, shopkeepers, auto rickshaws, and even small businesses rely on cash because some did not reach the online mode and some are struggling with it. This gap will make things obfuscate for the rural workers in the coming days. The authority must reconsider the paths of the digital revolution, it must be somewhere ameliorating rural India otherwise “the dream of digitalization will break the bridge.”
Why are rural places in India is been treated as backward? Why does not everyone share the same level of healthcare, education, and livelihood? Why the people from rural areas have fewer employment opportunities? Why their living wage is comparatively lesser than urban? Why there is no hope for non-farming economic growth? The questions are many, even, governments have tried unravelling the poor status through many schemes and policies but all seem strewn during implementation. Migration has become a major issue in rural areas, and those who are incapable of migrating fall into the abstruse stereotypes that regimes have failed to conquer.
In 2020 IIT Roorkee, concluded research on a note that the main reason for the musky situation of rural India is unadvanced machinery and stereotypes. We never talk about the development of rural infrastructure and their basic commodities, floods, and droughts are treated as common in rural areas. Recently, floods in Assam and Bihar forced many villages to evacuate their complete livelihood, and shockingly that did not make it to the mainstream news/media where the 5 days flood in Bengaluru break the internet.
The authorities (especially state governments) have always participated in the politics of vote banks, they only talk or act for rural development during elections… other than that, their theories of distracting rural people with trillions of figures (economy) and free quota ration work very well, and if any agency or organization raise questions with facts then “they condemn” it or vilify throughout.
Yogi Adityanath (Chief Minister, UP) had announced the distribution of mobile phones to all bachelor students of state government in his manifesto for the 2022 elections. Lack of mobile phones and connectivity was a huge issue since 2020 but it was addressed only during elections, even the government denied any such news, and claimed that they made every needful equipment available for government schools during the pandemic. These quashed statements truly make things easier for media houses to hide the truth.
“Under the bridge of civilization, the country somewhere leaving its true identity” not because mankind is civilized but because the identity is left behind. We really need to accept the term that rural India needs more attention at present because of its poor livelihood. Rural development is at a stage of peril.