Democracy in our country functions differently for different people. Some of us have it far easier than others. As we keep moving towards a more digital form of democracy, we wonder if the gap is only expanding and if it’s still going to cater to everyone, especially to those who live in parts of rural India. While our biggest annoyance may have been the incessant reminders to link our Aadhar cards to our phone numbers, the rural populace is still denied information of their own earnings and funds.
As part of the Internet Democracy Project, Harmeet Rahal, a Mumbai-based illustrator, painter, and zine-maker created a series that represents the frustrating and helpless situation of marginalised communities of India. The illustrations are based on insights from an interview by Manju Rajput and Drishti Agarwal, who work in a grassroots organisation called Aajeevika Bureau.
Urban India was quick to take to the technological advancements of internet banking and all-in-one Aadhar access, but they acted as impediments in rural India due to lack of facility, proper knowledge and government support. Financial functions may have moved online, but rural India is hindered from doing so owing to the aforementioned reasons. People of such communities are turned away at each step of the process and thus, are disallowed the opportunity to ever move forward and access their own finances and information.
Conveying the inaccessibility of financial services to those who arguably need it the most, the Internet Democracy Project is working towards an internet system that supports freedom of expression, democracy, and social justice.
Learn more about the Internet Democracy Project here.
You can also find Harmeet Rahal here.
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