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Information Dissemination in Uttarakhand: Problems and Prospects

Uttarakhand is a newly created state and a typical representation of hills. Chilled water, fresh air, dense forests, great mountains, fragmented land, no electricity, no drinking water but still lots of prospects are the characteristic features of the state Uttarakhand. The economy of the state Uttarakhand is totally dependent on women. The women folk is engaged in almost all the activities including indoor as well as outdoor. Studies revealed that they spend as long as 17 to 18 hours a day in doing household and other works including farming, fuelwood collection, animal husbandry etc. On the other hand, the men folk are involved in leisure activities like playing cards, liquor consumption etc. So, if we want to develop the hill economy, then we have to focus on educating the hill women and for this the information system should be strong enough to bring out changes. But there are several other problems which hinder their developmet. Some of the problems are:

  • complete isolation from the outside world
  • Lack of basic amenities
  • No accessibility of internet 
  • Male dominated society
  • Male focused trainings
  • Illiteracy
  • Lack of decision making abilities
  • Unpaid work
  • Long working hours

One study reveals that One pair of Ox works 1022 hours in a year, One man works 1122 hours in a year and surprisingly One woman works for 3244 hours in a year. Even after this shocking figures, all the srtaegies are ment for men folk, all the training programmes are planned for the men folk , who are not supposed to even enter in the field. So some of the strategies can be suggested and work out to strengthen the information dissemination system and to strength the agricultural practices in hills:

  • In the hilly regions where the women folk works, the trainings must be made for them.
  • The training should not be in one person speaking and others listening rather it should be in participatory mode.
  • Indegenous practices and indegenous knowledge should be given importance.
  • Timings of the trainngs should be such that it shoud match with daily routine of the women.
  • Use, Low Cost Communication Aids, if they are not able to catch the latest technological advancement.

Since, the 21st century is the era of knowledge and information and only those countries will proceed which will create knowledge societies and share all these knowledge in an effective manner. For this, a strong expert-farmer linkage is necessary. Though we have missed the industrial revolution but we should not miss the knowledge and information revolution. So, Let us bring these downtrodden and ignored hill women to the world of prosperity and dignity.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.