Online in Rural India: Village of Hansdehar Establishes Web Presence

Dennis Faas's picture

Welcome to Hansdehar, India. It's a tiny rural village with a population of only 1,753. Unemployment, erratic electricity, no pharmacy, and a lack of help from the Indian government are among the problems Hansdehar's poor residents are suffering through. (Sources: and

To combat these problems, Hansdehar has established its own website. will help expose the area to its own neglectful government -- and the rest of the world. Now things might finally begin to change for the little village that could. "It will be a revolution," insists farmer Ajaib Singh.

Ironically, most Hansdehar residents don't even have Internet access. Another irony: some residents eventually hope to leave the area to seek better opportunities elsewhere. A third irony: upon getting online, villagers plan to use their newfound web hookup to help them leave. And the final irony: SmartVillages founder Kanwal Singh established the site to encourage these kinds of ambitious thoughts.

Aside from farming and selling goods to farmers, there are precious few employment opportunities in Hansdehar. Kanwal hopes to change that by getting his townspeople connected to the Internet.

Local farmers will attempt to get better prices for their crops by trading them online through the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd., a process that will allow them to eliminate the middleman. Carpenters and masons will be able to attract customers by advertising their services on the web. Other villagers will upload their resumes to job hunting sites. A local math teacher, Hazoor Singh, plans to publish a paper on SmartVillages that will detail parallels between the nature of God and mathematical set theory. And at least one bachelor will use the 'net to go looking for love.

Of course, the main goal of the site is to unite the people of Hansdehar and further the cause of rural India. (Source: features a wealth of information about Hansdehar and its residents --including the area's history, basic statistics, legislative setup, government setup, village Panchayat (council), infrastructure, people, religious places, nearby tourist attractions, local facilities, transport facilities, ongoing development schemes, public announcements, village problems, and more. (Source:

One noticeable omission, however, is the lack of a message board. Such a forum would make it easier for the residents of Hansdehar to connect to each other.

Overall, is off to a good start. "All the nearby villages are impressed," brags founder Kanwal Singh, "and they say they want a site of their own." (Source:

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