Yes to

 Published On April 21, 2015

This article is a reproduction of my original post on LinkedIn which can be found here

I grew up without Internet access. My school had an offline computer that I could use for 3 hours a week. To make the most of what little access I had – I wrote code by hand before classes. That way I could focus on input, compiling, and debugging during class.

It wasn’t until I came to Singapore to study on a scholarship that I had access to as much Internet time that I needed. This allowed me to learn, research, code, and connect. It was one of the best things that happened to me.

In recent days much has been said in the press about internet dot org. Terms like ‘economic racism’ and ‘poor internet for poor people’ have been thrown around.

The way I see it – someone without access to a library won’t quibble about limited choice or flipping through a couple of ads before reading a book. Similarly, someone with no access to the internet won’t care about looking at a couple of ads before getting on to Wikipedia or Messenger or a Jobs Portal.

Is that a simplistic way of looking at the issue? Sure. But the reality is that more than 4 billion people around the world have no internet access today. Almost a quarter of them reside in India. Without doubt, once people are online, they get access to better information and to more opportunities. Connecting them, even in a limited way, has got to be better than nothing!

I know what I would have wanted for myself back when I had no Internet access.



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© 2015 - Manav Prabhakar. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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