Image credit: The Hindu Business Line
By Roopa Kudva
Businesses can help by bridging the digital divide and looking at diversity, equity and inclusion as a ‘strategic lever’
Over the last decade we have seen the potential of the internet and mobile phones to improve lives by providing greater opportunities and choices. Tech-led solutions are fostering meaningful lives in many ways — providing access to aspirational products and services; facilitating employment and productivity; promoting individual agency; and enabling responsive institutions for citizens.
As we gear up for a critical phase in India’s development journey, the imperatives of promoting inclusive and equitable growth are widely acknowledged. India’s trajectory for the next several decades will be crucially linked to the fortunes of the ‘Next Half Billion’ (NHB) — the 500 million Indians who either have or will come online for the first time via their mobile phones by end-2022.
They represent the bottom 60 per cent of India’s income distribution and have traditionally been underserved and excluded. Women constitute half of the NHB segment and are disproportionately disadvantaged — for them to participate fully in India’s growth journey, their specific needs and aspirations require attention.
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