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Banking using cell phones - varnamvarnam
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Banking using cell phones

One person who is unhappy with everything in the world in Arudhathi Roy. Her anti-American, anti-capitalism articles have a wide following among the people who believe that there is an alternate way. After criticizing every living thing in the world, she turned her attention to non-living things and the object of her wrath was the cell-phone.

“Are you going to starve to death dreaming of a mobile phone or you going to have control of the resources that are available to you and have been for generations, but have been taken away so that someone else can have a mobile phone?”[India’s dying ‘n we flaunt mobiles: Arundhati Roy]

And Gaurav Sabnis responded with the question WTF??. Arundhathi can say all she wants, but the reality is even poor people are adopting cell phones in India because they find immense use for it.

Sure, there must be a big adrenalin rush while criticizing anything used by the not-poor people as there is an audience for it and also it is a lucrative field. But isn’t she a thinker, something above the whine-bloggers? So while criticizing something, one would expect some creative suggestions from a person like her who travels around the world and reads a lot. It she really wanted to help the poor, she would have said, asking people to go back to stone age looks stupid. So let’s see how we can use the forces of globalization and technology to improve the condition of the poor. For example, there is something we can learn from the Africans, who are using the cell phones for banking.

With the new technology, a grandmother in rural area can receive money from her son, working hundreds of miles away, with the beep of her cellphone. A teenager can buy groceries with a few punches of keys. Not a coin need change hands.

It’s a high-tech solution designed to help poor people here who never have had access to banks, cash machines, or credit cards. And it’s another example of using digital technology to fast forward development in remote areas.[Africa’s cellphone boom creates a base for low-cost banking via engadget]

I have never heard any progressive suggestions from people like her. Politicians need a constituency of poor people, so do the advocates of the alternate universe.


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