How Cell Phones Lead to Poverty Decline
In India, a fisherman’s business has been revolutionized by cell phone usage. Vijay Navle sells fish to be exported from India and before he was able to use a cell phone, he had to spend most of his days physically visiting all his suppliers to know what was available. But since he and the other fishermen gained mobile phones, they can call each other easily and communicate stock, pricing and shipment, demonstrating how cell phones lead to poverty decline.

A Hub For Connection

In fact, Navle states: “I can immediately inform my customers that there’s a big catch coming in fresh and we get a better price for it.” Enhanced communication has allowed the business to grow more efficient and profitable for the lower-income workers in this industry.

In fact, India is the fastest growing market for cell phone usage and other new technology. From 2000 to now, the number of wireless subscriptions has grown from a little under two million to over 1 billion.

Manufactures and telecommunication companies are looking to expand smartphone usage in India as well since Indians use a cell phone to access the internet over 80 percent of the time, rather than using a desktop computer. Comparatively, in the U.S. and U.K., the internet is accessed using cell phones only about 30 percent of the time.

Increased Internet Access Combats Poverty

The access to the internet via smartphones has revolutionized many aspects of life across India. In Orissa, one of India’s poorest states, the non-profit mPowering creates incentives via apps to get children to attend school and reward mothers for attending health care classes.

These efforts are part of their campaign to reduce infant mortality and illiteracy in the area. The points earned can be redeemed for clothes, food and medicine every month. In the first year of the program, the percentage of children attending school had already increased for 52 to 71 percent and disease rates had fallen.

Financial Stability On the Rise

The use of the internet has also allowed financial stability to become more accessible to Indians. Besides free, educational information that they can access, the government of India is working to change life for rural agriculture workers by providing them with banking.

Since only 27 percent of villages have banks within five kilometers, the government is focusing on growing the mobile banking industry and licensing new banks. Cell phones also allow the agriculture industry to become more efficient and profitable, as the cell phones lead to poverty decline in rural areas.

Demand for Progress

The increased accessibility to cell phones still promises some growth. As mobile phones allow Indian people to be more successful, there is an increased demand for new technology — cellular and otherwise.

Cell phones lead to poverty decline across the nation, and the market for providers is competitive. Low prices for internet access promise connectivity to families all over, as technology becomes their greatest asset in improving their lives.

Grace Gay

Photo: Flickr