A Calm Storm

The blog of Sholeh Samadani Munion

Technology–>unlikely places

This article is about Internet connections being set up in rural areas to help connect remote villages to the rest of the world.

I think that this is amazing. I know that the India is trying to get more technological access to the poorer population. This article talks about how businesses are discovering the value of catering to this large population, while at the same time doing a great service to the people who would normally not have access to this kind of thing.

Why is an internet connection so important? Especially when so many basic needs are not being met? If you read the articles, there is an interesting phenomenon happening. In the Brazil case, the computer literate people in the community teach those who are illiterate how to use the computer. The villagers download lesson plans, and are able to trade products more easily. This one computer that they all share allows them to educate themselves.

In India, the majority of users are women! Imagine the effect that this has on these villages.

I’ve put some quotations from the Baha’i Writings about education below. Comments on this subject, anyone? Concerns, thoughts? I’d like to hear what people think.

“The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”

“But education is of three kinds: material, human and spiritual. Material education is concerned with the progress and development of the body, through gaining its sustenance, its material comfort and ease. This education is common to animals and man.

Human education signifies civilization and progress; that is to say, government, administration, charitable works, trades, arts and handicrafts, sciences, great inventions and discoveries and elaborate institutions, which are the activities essential to man as distinguished from the animal.

Divine education is that of the Kingdom of God: it consists in acquiring divine perfections, and this is true education; for in this state man becomes the focus of divine blessings, the manifestation of the words, “Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness.” This is the goal of the world of humanity.”

“Baha’u’llah has announced that inasmuch as ignorance and lack of education are barriers of separation among mankind, all must receive training and instruction. Through this provision the lack of mutual understanding will be remedied and the unity of mankind furthered and advanced. Universal education is a universal law. It is, therefore, incumbent upon every father to teach and instruct his children according to his possibilities. If he is unable to educate them, the body politic, the representative of the people, must provide the means for their education.”


4 thoughts on “Technology–>unlikely places

  1. Wow, Sholeh, thanks for the news! How refreshing to know that the internet can actually help improve the lives of the majority of the world’s population: the poor.

  2. just as kids can learn a language by themselves without trying, kids in developing villages can learn how to use computers naturally – so there’s this guy, he drops off a computer, brand new, in the box, in the middle of a village, and walks away – then observes for days as kids figure out what they can do with it. At first, they don’t even know what the wires are for, or if the box itself does something – but by the end, they’re online!


  3. Shoghi Effendi in 1936:

    “A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity.”

    “The Unfoldment of World Civilization”
    in The World Order of Baha’u’llah

  4. Wow! This is such a cool thing! And that quote…! I’d never seen that before. Eerie! I know that in india, the internet has really been a tool for helping entrepreneurs (india’s full of them!) Cyber cafes are one of the biggest money makers, whether in mumbai or the remote areas of madhya pradesh. I’m so saving this article!

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