Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Techno Social Innovation makes its way in rural India

By Mr. G M Sastry

When I visited Katuru (very near to my native place Vuyyuru) on 4th Nov 2012 for the water quality testing project, I could notice two totally contrast and  opposite things- exactly situated opposite to each other. One is old and ancient abandoned and dilapidated house.

Just opposite to the above building, a modern technological phenomenon aiding the welfare schemes of the government aimed at senior citizens and other welfare beneficiaries was happening every month. It took me literally by surprise when I saw what was happening.

Opposite to the old abandoned house is the Grampanchayt office/Secretariat of Katuru. On that day (4 Nov), the Gramsevika entered the premises of GP secretariat and several senior citizens, widows,  were waiting along with some specially abled/challenged. From her handbag, she took out a small machine and placed it on the old table in the GP office. On the side of the machine, she placed her mobile.
One by one the senior citizens started showing their id cards. She fed the id no into the mobile and immediately the senior citizen’s details are retrieved by the mobile including his/her photo and other details. She pushed some other buttons on the mobile for further verification. Then she asked the beneficiary to put his/her fingers on the small machine for scanning. It took less than a minute to scan the fingerprint and then match with bio-metric database. Once it was approved by the system, the small machine printed out the receipt in duplicate. One copy was handed over to the person along with Rs 200 from the handbag of the Gramsevika.

All this happened in less than may be 4 to 5 minutes. There was a good crowd before the gramsevika. Normally it happens in the frist week of a month for about 4 days. For those persons, who are identified for the pension scheme and cannot come to the GP secretariat/common place, the Gramsevika goes to their house, completes the formalities and distributes the cash!

Modern technology aiding the welfare schemes aimed at old/senior people!

I am not opening up a debate whether welfare pension is good or not or the amount of Rs 200 is sufficient or not. Simply amazed by the usage of the technology. Of course the next step would be cash transfers to the pensioner’s bank accounts if the proposed financial inclusion in rural areas is not a mirage!

Technology can be effectively used by harnessing its true potential and thus to reduce the side effects of able workers’ migration to urban areas on their dependant senior family members, who are not productive by modern understanding!

May be this is called social innovation!

As Shared by Mr. G M Sastry ,


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.