Poverty and technology
INTRODUCTION: it is true that we have spectacular advancements in the area of science and technology but it is also true that we have millions of people who have no access to food and basic essentials to survive. Although poverty has been dramatically reduced in many parts of the world, a quarter of the world’s people remain in severe poverty. Technology has the strength to make a difference to this world. The problem is not the tool but the direction in which it can be utilized. There is a need to develop a new pathway in which technology not only produces increases in manufacturing productivity but also touches the lives of down trodden and those living in the brink of poverty. Technology relates to poverty in many ways it reduces it, it promotes it, it helps poor to survive. We will discuss its different aspects related to poverty. POVERTY: In broader sense to be poor is to be hungry, to lack shelter and clothing, to be illiterate and not schooled and not to be cared for. Progress in human development and poverty eradication is achieved through revolts, history is full of such uprisings. poverty is not only linked with lack of income but also lack of fulfillment of basic needs such as water, shelter, food and clothing and human suffering and poverty. In India, poverty is officially linked to a nutritional baseline measured in calories (food energy method). The Planning Commission defines poverty lines as a per capita monthly expenditure of Rs 49 for the rural areas and Rs 57 in urban areas at 1973-74 all India prices. Poverty line correspond to a total household per capita expenditure sufficient to provide, in addition to basic non-food items – clothing, transport – a daily intake of 2,400 calories per person in rural areas and 2,100 in urban areas. Individuals who do not meet these calorie norms fall below the poverty line. Technology: In broader terms technology is practical application of science. Technology has a direct link with national development. It is critical in the provision of the basic infrastructure needed for industrial and agricultural development. It is indispensable in improving productivity, starting new processes and developing new products. It is believed that, if technology can be successfully linked to the process of overall national development, it can become a n important tool to accelerate development and alleviate mass poverty and destitution in the world. Technological advancements are not uniformly distributed in world. More than 600 million people worldwide have some sort of access to the internet However, that still leaves about 5.5 billion people who do not use the net and who have no access. Most of these people live outside the developed Western countries. While over half of UK households are online, only 0.1% of homes in Bangladesh can claim the same. Access to technology is not same as access to other resources, like clean water, adequate health care, sufficient food, or educational opportunities, because all have priority in development plans. School children or college student with net access have an advantage in doing research for homework, and a village with a working internet connection has an advantage in monitoring weather patterns, help fishermen in knowing what the tides are doing and getting help with pest control. Sometimes technology is part of the problem, not part of the solution. In the 1970s, many developing countries were encouraged to base their farming on the heavy use of chemicals and machines. But as the tractors broke down and the costs of pesticides rose, the result was famine. Getting internet access to remote hill villages may not be as important as getting clean water or effective healthcare, but it is true that web and mailing is a gateway to other resources and to self-reliance. A farmer can take a beetle he finds on his crop and check it against a comprehensive catalogue on a CD-Rom in his...
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