Mina Yadav has a very simple dream in life. She wants her son to become educated and successful. She lives with her school going son at Asola village near Ambikapur in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. These days, she is very excited about her latest possession. It is a brand new smart phone that she loves to talk about. But it is not just a piece of luxury item for her. She feels that the smart phone will actually change her life in a positive way.
Mina has collected her phone from the SKY distribution centre near her home. The SKY or Sanchar Kranti Yojana is a ground breaking initiative by the Chhattisgarh government to improve mobile connectivity in the state. Chhattisgarh is among the states with the lowest rates of mobile connectivity. The number of mobile phone users is also very low in the state. Under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana, smart phones are being distributed among 50 lakh underprivileged people. Out of these 50 lakh people 45 lakh are women and 5 lakh are students. Another objective of the SKY is to install mobile towers in various places to improve mobile connectivity.
Mina, being a beneficiary of the Sanchar Kranti Yojana, also got hold of the phone that she is excited about.She feels that she can learn a lot of new things with this phone. She is a health worker and she thinks the smart phone can help her serve the people better. “I can communicate with people better now. The smart phone can help me understand people’s problems better and also to explain certain things to them better.Apart from video calling, the picture and video sharing features are very helpful in this regard.” She says.
Mina believes that learning never stops and expanding the knowledge base is always helpful in becoming better in all fields. She thinks increased knowledge can make her a better worker too.“The smart phone is a great tool for me to learn. The smart phone combined with the internet is an amazing tool for learning. I can even help my son with his studies. There are so many wonderful audio-visual educational tools available on the internet.” Mina says.
Mina plans to use her smart phone effectively to improve her and her son’s quality of life. She dreams of a day when her son will have better opportunities and better exposure to the bigger world. The smart phone is definitely one important tool for her to achieve this. She always knew about the features and usage of the smart phone but never had the opportunity to get one. “I never thought of getting a smart phone with my income. But now that I have got it I am going to use it to the fullest potential so as to make our lives better. This is a great resource for me now.”She says.
Mina Yadav is not the only woman who sees the smartphone and the Sanchar Kranti Yojana as a life changing development. Millions of women from underprivileged sections in the state of Chhattisgarh today are dreaming of a better life with the help of the smartphones.