The Understanding of and application of scientific principles holds the key to technological progress and developmental goals of any nation. Rural India is characterized by poverty, illiteracy, infrastructural inadequacies and the myriads of ills that plague those below the poverty line in the third world stemming largely from the lack of scientific awareness, and spread of community knowledge.

Over the past decade information and communication technology (ICTs), specially new media like the Internet has brought information access far closer to the rural populace. Information Kiosks have been set and cellphone coverage has scaled rapidly.

These new forms of media provide unforeseen opportunity in spreading scientific awareness that can help overcome superstition, improve health care and even provide access to income. However technology options are not sufficient by themselves. Public communication for dissemination of scientific knowledge needs to be participative in nature and focus on the needs and benefits of the community itself. Implementation of such projects needs to take a holistic view that encompasses a multi-disciplinary approach towards the problem.

This paper presents some experiences as well an approach and a plan for a large scale intervention of scientific knowledge with community participation that can be successfully implemented utilising the existing investments in basic infrastructure. This is largely drawn on our previous experience in working with the rural community and building a successful effort of capacity-building and livelihood generation for the rural community in Sunderbans.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Understanding snake-bites and soil salinity–science communication over “New Media”

Alakananda Rao   Alvari Systems Private Limited

Partha Dasgupta   Department of Computer Science and Informatics,Arizona State University, USA

The Understanding of and application of scientific principles holds the key to technological progress and developmental goals of any nation. Rural India is characterized by poverty, illiteracy, infrastructural inadequacies and the myriads of ills that plague those below the poverty line in the third world stemming largely from the lack of scientific awareness, and spread of community knowledge.

Over the past decade information and communication technology (ICTs), specially new media like the Internet has brought information access far closer to the rural populace. Information Kiosks have been set and cellphone coverage has scaled rapidly.

These new forms of media provide unforeseen opportunity in spreading scientific awareness that can help overcome superstition, improve health care and even provide access to income. However technology options are not sufficient by themselves. Public communication for dissemination of scientific knowledge needs to be participative in nature and focus on the needs and benefits of the community itself. Implementation of such projects needs to take a holistic view that encompasses a multi-disciplinary approach towards the problem.

This paper presents some experiences as well an approach and a plan for a large scale intervention of scientific knowledge with community participation that can be successfully implemented utilising the existing investments in basic infrastructure. This is largely drawn on our previous experience in working with the rural community and building a successful effort of capacity-building and livelihood generation for the rural community in Sunderbans.

[PDF 90.65 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 90.65 kB)

BACK TO TOP