Of all the Millennium Development Goals, halving poverty by 2015 is the most important and challenging one. This challenging job can be done quite successfully if the information and communication technology (ICT) can be integrated in the Government and civil society initiatives towards alleviating poverty. This paper discusses the significance of ICT revolution in the context of reducing poverty in Bangladesh. Some important ways in which ICT can be used for alleviating poverty in Bangladesh are: (a) Farmers and small businessmen can have information about market prices and competition through radio, TV, phones, and websites. In this way, they can take more informed decisions about which markets to sell to, avoiding middlemen, or they can have more bargaining power if they ultimately sell their goods to these middlemen; (b) Different rules and regulations of doing business and the overall investment climate in Bangladesh can be easily presented in an accessible format through websites. Therefore, business confidence will be increased, and it will pave the way for more investment (both local and foreign), leading towards an increased level of employment. It will surely have a positive impact on poverty; (c) with the help of ICT people can access easily and this therefore assists in achieving universal connectivity and access, (d) using the facilities of telemedicine, rural patients and village doctors can consult with specialist doctors in cities. This may ensure the improved health services to the poverty-stricken rural people living. Moreover, information about health hazards, hygiene, nutrition, etc. can also be disseminated through radio, TV, and websites; and (e) No poverty-alleviation strategy can be successful without ensuring quality education for the poor and marginalized people. To reach standard education to every nook and corner of the country, the ICT can play an important role. Using the virtual education system, the poor will be able to get world-class education with minimum cost. The distance-learning approach can also be useful in this regard; (f) Intermodal Transportation Systems (ITS) is also an invention of ICT. It allows more efficient, cost effective and sustainable transportation than the traditional transportation systems. With the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), operative issues can be dealt in a different way than in the past, taking advantage of the effective impact of these innovative technologies on ITS decision making. In this age of ICT, concerted efforts are needed from the Government, NGOs, and all concerned for the investigation, design, and implementation of necessary measures towards alleviating intense poverty in Bangladesh through the use of ICT.
ICT and its awareness for reducing Poverty in Bangladesh
Information and communication technology (ICTs) comprises of three separate words – information, communication and technology. Information is defined as any kind of message; written, audio, visual or audio-visual through which a person gets knowledge about a new person, place, thing, situation, or environment. Similarly, communication is the way of transferring such message to others which needs a medium, a clear message, and sender and receiver. Information & communication technology is the use of modern technology to aid the capture, processing, storage and retrieval, and communication of information, whether in the form of numerical data, text, sound, or image (Rahman, M. A., 2008) and the ICTs infrastructures are defined as the devices which are used for communication and exchange of information. There has been rapid development of information technologies internationally in the last two decades. Studies from Newly Industrialised Countries (NICs) and the developed world have shown that ICT can positively contribute to economic growth and...