United Nations: A combination of basic facilities and education leads to economic growth which in turn alleviates poverty and helps the disadvantaged regions to grow locally, Hinduja Foundation US Chairperson Shanu SP Hinduja has said.
Addressing the 13th Infopoverty World Conference here yesterday, Hinduja underscored the need to use technological innovations to build critical infrastructure and said focus should be made on developing technologies that manage basic amenities and planned urbanisation in rural and urban areas.
"Technological innovations have to focus on building both physical infrastructure as well as business infrastructure. In future, when creating new rural-urban hubs, we must focus on developing technologies related to managing water, waste, planned urbanisation, basic facilities and the environment," Hinduja, who also serves as advisor to the Hinduja Foundation Global, said at a session titled 'Innovations for the Empowerment of People.'
The two-day conference focused on ways to alleviate poverty through technological innovations, governance, nation building and civic society with a central theme of empowerment of people.
"Self-empowerment is of greatest importance, as it costs nothing yet achieves everything. From this perspective, true empowerment ultimately means recognising the immense creative resource that lies within all of us," Hinduja said.
She said while technology has tremendously helped alleviate poverty, technology alone is not enough for sustained development.
"It is very important that technology is viewed as a means to an end and not an end in itself and that its use remains balanced and does not overwhelm the creative human spirit. Even more crucial is a universal perspective that honours, respects and cares for all aspects of life on our planet. It is a perspective that looks to sustainability and long-term well-being," she added.
Citing her father Hinduja Group Chairman Srichand P Hinduja's vision, she said, "we should all try to empower people less fortunate than us, to enable them in things that affect their lives such as healthcare, fundamental education and economic growth in rural areas."
Hinduja said while global expansion of information and communication technology has led to growth in developing countries, nations must ensure that technology benefits not only the rich but also empowers the less advantaged.
"There is no limit to what technological innovation do. Yet it must have a sound basis and be rooted in personal human relations," she said.