Battling the challenge of digital illiteracy with a unique initiative

New Delhi (IANS) Thirty six-year-old Shaik Faridha from Thammina Patnam village in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh runs her provisions and tailoring shop. But she hit a roadblock few years ago when the wave of digitisation swept the country.

She found it difficult to keep up with business transactions via digital platform as she did not know how to go about it, which impacted her business revenue massively.

But a short-term Digital Literacy training course solved all her woes and today she is able to run her business smoothly without losing her customer base.

In recent years, there has been a constant and serious push towards deeper penetration of the internet in rural as well as the hinterlands of the country.

According to a NITI Aayog report titled “Strategy for New India @75” inter-alia indicates that the country needs to eliminate the Digital Divide by 2022-23.

In this regard, it is stated that Skill development and creating skilled talent is an important mission to ensure that the growing digital economy of India is provided with the trained and skilled manpower that Industry requires. To further aid digital adoption, the Ministry has focused on digital literacy for citizens since 2014, across the country, especially in rural areas.

Taking a cue from there, Adani Foundation’s Saksham initiative focuses on skill development activities to contribute towards nation building by bridging the skill gap demand; supply, in line with the Central government’s Skill India Mission by offering various courses, one such being Digital Literacy.

“I am able to run my business with much more ease and in a much more successful manner all thanks to the Digital Literacy Program. From mobile recharging to booking tickets, I have branched out to these aspects as well which has created an additional income to my existing business. I am very thankful to Adani Skill Development Centre (ASDC), Krishnapatnam and Digital Literacy Program for changing the life of me and my family,”shares Faridha.

Another beneficiary from the Digital Literacy course is Degala Varalakshmi from Muthukur village in Nellore district.

The Digital Literacy course aims to familiarise one with the basic knowledge of computers, its equipment, mobile phone operations and mobile phone applications as well as skilling people with digitalization, online

Transactions in a supportive online and classroom environment.

“After the course, I installed the digilocker application on my phone and added all my important documents. I also spread awareness about the digilocker and its benefits among my friends and family. I learned about internet banking, online

bill payments, accessing mail, social media, etc. I have also been teaching kids,” she says.

Hailing from a fisherman dominated area of Muthukur village, Manati Krishnaveni didn’t have any scope to broaden her horizons and ride the digital train. But the limitations in her surroundings didn’t stop her from not exploring the digital way of life.

She enrolled herself in the Digital Literacy program and after the successful completion of the course, she is no longer digitally challenged.

“Today I can operate a computer, I know how to transfer money from my bank account, pay the electricity and water bills online, access my mails and surf the internet,” Manati says.

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