Bangladesh’s Info Ladies

Info ladies are women trained to deliver internet connection on bicycles. They go to Bangladesh’s rural areas with a computer, a printer, a camera and offer their services. It can be Skyping with a husband who works abroad, chatting with friends on Facebook, filling out a school application online. Some of their services cost a small fee, some are free and they provide information that otherwise might not be readily available. They talk about contraceptives, menstrual hygiene or HIV transmission. Or, they help farmers with the correct use of fertilizers and insecticides. In a country of 152 million where less than 5 million have access to the internet, this is becoming an essential service. Info ladies are mini entrepreneurs, usually borrowing the money for the bicycle, computer and other equipment and even after repaying their loan earn more through their fees than they would at jobs such as teaching. The program is run by D.Net who got the idea from Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus who had used something similar to introduce mobile phones. By 2016 D.Net hopes to have 15,000 info ladies. Hurrah for simplicity!