Technology uptake in tribal areas of India: A Case Study.”
Dr. Amit Sengupta, MBBS,MD, PhD, MROGS.
NGO, Affordable rural technology development, India
Technology is an integral part of any living being which also facilitates growth and development. “Universally any given technology may not be suitable in every given situation and at all the time” because it is influenced by human behaviour, socio economic conditions and the local culture more so in a non conforming situation & also because it evolves with time. Thus, its uptake in a particular community or in a specific given situation is always an issue to be dwelt upon. Therefore, there is a continuous need to innovate technology which is scalable so that it has much wider and universal application.
Tribes or indigenous or natives live in a society which is different from ours, thus they may have a different need. How do we then define technology uptake in tribal areas of India or across the world ? Many technology initiatives undertaken without considering human behaviour, awareness level and the value system resulted in failures and conflicts. We will discuss in this case study problems encountered and challenges faced in innovating and introducing need based appropriate technology. We developed a model of participatory approach between the community and the technologist. Potable water is one of the most essential yet scarce commodity around which life of a tribal women revolves. Ill-effects of non-availability of potable water on their health and economy are huge and we will discuss one such case study. Our innovative model of “bottom of the pyramid participatory approach i.e., explore, innovate and generate awareness at the grass root community level is basically to emphasize the benefits of need based assistive device or essential health and water technologies on their living. Providing safe water and essential health technologies may bring about a radical change in the quality of life of vast majority of people across the globe. In our community based technology development program, we focus on the integrated development of tribal women, as they are the nodal agent for change and prosperity, being the epicentre of vital activities such as water, health care, nutrition, energy and agro-based economic output.