With reference to Nivedita Mookerji’s column, “The promise of 2022” (November 16), government departments revel in producing statistics and counter-statistics. The ground reality is different from either.
The Indian economy
is a diverse one — from below the poverty line (BPL) families to among the wealthiest in the world. Many in the BPL category
do not even own computers, leave alone smartphones. Many of them, especially those living in remote villages, lack proper access to basic amenities. Technology can become a social asset only when there is easy accessibility to it and adequate knowledge about it among all sections of society.
usage has dropped because many have realised the futility of overspending. That it can be swiped with ease does not take away from the fact that it is a loan carrying exorbitant rates of interest accrued on an almost daily basis. Debit cards are equivalent to cash in plastic form and control the conduct of the account. They facilitate the saying, “cut the coat according to the cloth”. Cash withdrawals from ATMs
are on the rise again and are being used to pay bills.
Senior citizens prefer traditional over-the-counter transactional methods to those that require them to memorise passwords. Compromise of passwords often leads to fraud. Those without a smartphone lack knowledge about its functions; it’s less likely that they would use it for financial transactions. Although cash transactions can be minimised, they cannot be dispensed with, especially for small transactions and purchase from hawkers.
Civic sense has to be consciously imbibed by individuals; it is not a time-bound process. It is easy to revel in the possibility of colonising Mars and flying planes on solar energy. Imagination knows no bounds but reality has to be taken into consideration. Hence, I perceive 2022 will just be another
year, social progress being an
C Gopinath Nair Kochi
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