Focus on digital empowerment for breaking societal divides in Assam

“A digital society is where barriers are broken down and divides are removed for the people to access information through which they can build the foundation for a successful life. Knowledge is power in today’s world and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan is an ambitious programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to digitally enable 6 crore people in the country,” Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said while inaugurating the awareness campaign for Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) on Wednesday in Guwahati.

Notably, PMGDISHA aims at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas free of cost. It aims to provide access to information, knowledge, education, and healthcare. It will create avenues for livelihood generation and financial inclusion through digital payments and help bridge the digital divide.

It is expected to reach around 40 percent rural households in the country by March 2019. Under it, people in the rural area will be trained to operate computer tablets and smartphones and how to access the internet, government services, undertake digital payment and compose e-mails among others. The marginalized section of society like SCs/STs, Minorities, BPL families, divyangs all will be a part of this scheme.

Saying that Assam was able to set an example in front of the whole country by opening around 8 lakh bank accounts for tea garden workers in the aftermath of demonization drive which enabled digital payment to tea community, Sonowal said that the society is ready to accept all transformative initiatives if steps are taken in the right direction.

Around 19 lakh people are sought to be digitally empowered by March 2019 in the state under this Mission who would be able to take advantage of different digital services and the state government is committed to put in place required infrastructure for ushering in this digital revolution to the grassroots, he added.

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