Communication to Empower People, by Rajendra Prabhu

Monday, May 16, 2005

India has attained national telephone subscriber base of 100 million people, roughly nine per cent of the population. Only five years back, the country had just 28 million telephone subscribers. Today India?s telephone network of over 100 million subscribers is one of the largest in the world and second largest among the emerging economies, after China?.
The last 20 years have witnessed dramatic changes in the global communication scene. It started with the recognition that telecommunication is not only a major contributor to the GDP, but is also a major factor in removing poverty. In fact, the poor need telephone even more than the rich do. Experience across the world has demonstrated that telecommunication helps the poor to access information critical to them. It also helps them to magnify their little and remote voices of protest against injustice and denial and reach it all the way to the authorities both nationally and globally. At that level telecommunication develops a social and political dimension, helping the economically disadvantaged to assert themselves and to push for transformation of the political and economic structures in their favour.
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Source: India Press Information Bureau