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Impact of Mobile Phone on Livelihood of Rural People
The rural area, where nearly 69 per cent of the total Indian population lives still faces several challenges, such as low literacy, poor healthcare facilities, low income, high poverty, low access to formal employment and poor infrastructure. The mobile phones can facilitate to get out of these constraints by providing need-based and user-centric information and services at an affordable cost which is hitherto unreachable. In this context, this paper explores the impact of mobile phone usage on livelihood of rural people in India through a primary survey conducted in one of the underdeveloped States viz. Bihar. In total, 418 mobile phone users were interviewed in 12 villages in six districts of the State. The survey found that mobile phone users were able to gather information on agricultural and non-agricultural purposes and they were in touch with their relatives and migrant family members. They were obtaining timely information on employment, education, health, business, transferring funds and contacting their family members during emergencies. But there are still many limitations in rural areas such as lack of electricity for charging phones, lack of knowledge of value added services, high-cost of mobile hand set, local content mobile applications, call drop or poor signals and fraudulent money deduction by the operators without any call or message. These issues need urgent attention, so that rural people can fully exploit the use of mobile phone for the betterment of their livelihood.
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