The Internet Is A Right, Not A Technology

When the pandemic hit in India, many of the country’s policies around vaccine roll-outs, online education and welfare services assumed universal Internet access and literacy. Yet, only 60 percent of households are connected, making essential services inaccessible to nearly one third of the population or more – a pattern of exclusion we’ve seen repeated around the world, and exacerbated in rural areas.

Since 2002, Ashoka Senior Fellow Osama Manzar’s Digital Empowerment Foundation has been building community-driven digital infrastructure across rural India. They have mobilized more than 20 million people to bring Internet connections and digital literacy to roughly 100 million people. Subhashish Panigrahi sat down with him to explore their

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