With the start of the new year, the world has lived with Covid19 for 2 years. 1
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and restrictions have brought us extremes in behaviour from people, and extreme shifts in how we work, play, live and lead our lives.
When the lockdowns first started in March ‘20, they caught people off guard. What was supposed to be a two week curfew, turned into a months long situation forcing everyone to adapt to a future which may have taken the country and the world a few years to get to.
The pandemic hastened the advent of a few changes that we would have been focusing on as a country. Doorstep delivery of products and services, meant reduced traffic on the roads, which meant hearing birdsong again (though sadly this didn’t last too long).
Digital payments took off as well as the provisioning of services (banking, Govt, customer support) digitally. The massive vaccination drive was enabled through technology and the almost universal availability of the internet across the country.
But this massive digitisation has also raised a new problem, that of a newly forming digital divide. To an extent disenfranchising people who are not adapting to the digital world through choice or ability.
To cite an example, my household help, they have smartphones and spend their lean hours watching streaming shows on Youtube, but it was highly unlikely that they would the CoWin platform to book or register for their vaccines. Similarly, if I had offered to generate and share with them a e-RUPI voucher for their vaccine payments, its highly unlikely that they will understand what is needed. Given this level of comfort, it was more sensible for my family to pay directly for their vaccination at the centre.
With another pandemic wave starting, I see this problem growing over the next few months, and even when the pandemic is over it would remain.
During the last two years, I believe we did our best to help our fellows, wether through simple acts like ensuring that our help was paid during the months when we were all stuck indoors, however, as we move into the future, I believe it is a continued responsibility for me to continue helping.
With that in mind, I’m starting work on a little project I’m calling Two for Tomorrow. The idea behind Two for Tomorrow is for me to spend some time every month (Targeting at least 2 days ) helping people get a handle of technology, digital and how it can be used in their lives. I’m not going to focus or consider any financial charity, but I want to offer my time to help people across all levels, but mostly those who are at risk of being disenfranchised digitally.
I intend to journal this project through the year and determine my progress. Meanwhile I also request you - Dear Reader - to share your ideas with me on this. Or if you like, join me in giving Two for Tomorrow.