These unprecedented times bring forth a new opportunity. For rural India, it is the time for the people to upskill, learn and embrace technology in the daily lives. When the nationwide lockdown was announced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 60 per cent of the country's rural population couldn't fathom the many challenges they would be facing. Some non-profit organisations have been instrumental in supporting these changes, and driving a positive societal impact.
Apoorva Oza, CEO of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India), believes "technology has played a big role in helping not just our volunteers to stay connected, but also for planning and operationalising relief operations for rural communities".
"Digital technology enabled us to have a relief distribution dashboard, and GPS-enabled audio-visual recordings emerged as a reliable system to keep our team, donors and local authorities updated on the number of people impacted and locations covered on a daily basis, helping ensure efficiency," says Anshu Sharma, co-founder of Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society.
The mobilisation of all this is supported with a robust digital network, the prevalence of which has led to progress during these times.
Keshav Dhakad, group head and assistant general counsel-corporate, external and legal affairs at Microsoft India, says: "During unprecedented times like these, we have been working closely with nonprofits to serve the broader community, by enabling them to stay connected, secure and productive."
"We are also organising regular webinars and training sessions to help them transition from a field to a remote work environment more intuitively," he adds.