Digital is not just about smartphones, internet and bringing the population on social media. It is about educating every single citizen to leverage it and evolve, just like what happened in the 80s with television and telephone.
When our strong, able and visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital India initiative in 2015, it wasn’t totally new. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) was launched in 2006, but went unnoticed without proper internet penetration to every corner of the country.
But in 2015, times had changed. Mobile internet was the answer to the problem, and smartphones the medium on which the answer was written. While the 2006 vision did not have any proper structure, the PM Modi plan was a carefully curated mission to bring the power of digital to every tech-savvy and internet-educated Indian. The aim – to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
And there’s a man behind a visionary idea, to not just help India realise the power of digital, but take it into a new era. Completely powered by digital and endorsed by all the billion citizens of the country.
Gyan Shanker Prasad Varma is a common man with uncommon dreams like India’s beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is a youth icon in his home state of Bihar, and a source of inspiration for lakhs of people for whom his actions precede his persona.
Varma is an endeared face in the suburbs of Patna, and neighbouring towns. Relentlessly, but patiently, Varma has been spreading the power of digital to every school in the area, not just enabling children to learn and become proficient in the field, but also educating the illiterate community to operate digital devices and leverage them for their benefits.
“Digital is my dream. It is the way forward. It is a weapon to empower millions and help them advance their horizons of knowledge. It is the mantra of progress in a rapidly changing world,” opines Gyan Shanker Prasad Varma, “The globe is rapidly advancing, and for India to become a superpower, it is inevitable that every citizen knows digital like they know the back of their head.”
India has made massive leaps in the digital domain. But realising the power of holistic digital-induced prosperity is still a far-fetched thought. It isn’t just about proliferation of internet and smart devices among different sections of the society. It is about educating the young as well as the old to help citizens realize the value and benefits at an individual level.
And that is where Gyan Shanker Prasad Varma emphasizes the need to invest time and effort to enhance the country’s digital footprint. This means delivering citizens the means to leave pen and paper behind and prosper on the network of millions of connected devices by understanding and taking up opportunities.
“Building ‘broadband highways’ is one thing,” continues Varma, “but saturating those highways with enlightened citizens from all walks of life will help us achieve our potential as a country.”
Digitally empowered citizens are key to India becoming a world super power that is progressive internationally as well as domestically. Varma’s aim is to ensure that more people can benefit from the boon of technology. From classrooms to farmlands, he wants rural societies to embrace new technologies and find ways to benefit from them.
“Only then will our majority population which lives in rural areas will come at power with the urban sections,” Varma states, “Rural India lacks the knowledge and know-how of digital. Just having internet will not get us anywhere when most of our citizens do not know how to read or write.”
Gyan Shanker Prasad Varma puts his soul, mind and body into this dream. Enabling every Indian citizen with the means and wisdom to understand the promise of internet. To become a genius in their own might and capture the immense opportunity to transform their lives and achieve the best life possible.
“That is my aim and I won’t stop till I have achieved it and empowered over half a billion people still in darkness,” says an emphatic Varma, “Bihar is just the beginning. My plan is to slowly and steadily spread the good word from state to state, uplifting village after village and taking India to the top – where we rightfully belong. And not in fragments, but united, strong, and prolific.”
The man with a mission, combined with a ruthless attitude and relentless will to accomplish it. Varma’s initiative has taken good steps and continues to gain momentum in Bihar. Next stop is Haryana and then Uttar Pradesh, before, he encompasses the entire country and makes every individual a stakeholder in his courageous and noble initiative.
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