Use of the internet is gaining popularity among the rural people of Gaibandha, who are increasingly preferring the global computer network to traditional modes of communication for accessing information.
“I didn’t understand the internet earlier and didn’t hear much about it. But now we go to the UP chairman office to get latest information on fertilisers from the internet. It’s easier to use than I thought it would be,” said farmer Jalal Uddin, of Mirpur village under Sahapara Union of Sadar upazila.
Another villager from Mirpur said, “I got my son’s results in SSC and HSC examinations from the internet and also information on procedures for university admission.”
Arif Hossain, a businessman from Bishnupur village, said through the internet he can find out updated market prices of essentials as well as other information he needs.
The increasing dependence on internet is mainly due to the efforts of various government and non-government institutions to make services available online. People can access information on agriculture, education, health and other factors from local UP offices.
The growing popularity of internet in Gaibandha is further evidenced by the presence of computers with internet connection in many educational institutions. Students with access to smartphone applications can also find information in minutes.
UP Chairman Mahbubur Rahman Tulu said people come to UP offices every day for different reasons and they are taught about internet usage and its efficacy in the modern age and different services.
Many young people have set up shops at local marketplaces and street corners where they can enjoy internet services for a nominal fee, he added.
Abbas Ali, who resides near Kamarjani Bazaar under Sadar upazila, said, “My daughter has been staying in UK for a couple of years. Often I communicate with her through internet from one of these shops. It’s cost-effective.”
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mamunur Rashid said there are now union information service centres (UISC) in all the 13 union parishad offices of the Sadar upazila. “People can have whatever information they require through internet.”
The service centres have computers, laptops, printers and internet modems lined up to make information sharing faster and easier, he said, adding there will soon be billboards hung in front of the offices to further raise awareness among people.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Quazi Anwarul Haque said, “Village people have now access to what they could only imagine earlier. Internet access for them is like a dream come true.”
To ensure internet related services to the rural people, all 82 unions of the district were brought under a network of information communication technology. They can now apply to the DC and UNO offices through this network, he said.