Ocean in a Drop -- Broadband Impacts on Rural India, the film that inspired this book, has crept through the dust, tumbled through the noise and hiked through multiple means of communication. We survived, and we made it through. We cannot wave goodbyes without expressing our gratitude to those who pulled and pushed us through this adventure. Digital Empowerment Foundation’s contacts, connections and ongoing support; the trust of our supporters, funders and crowdfunding contributors, and our film crew who conversed with each other over many cups of chai, enjoying our few weeks together and learning from each other whenever the opportunity presented itself. We had also matured friendships in spite of the minutiae of cultural and language differences. We would also like to share our gratitude for the hospitality and patience of our interviewees, villagers, many NGO staff, local fixers and guides. Their curiosity welcomed us and our experiences with them accompanied us on our journey. At all our rural locations we met people who patiently waited for our crew to set up, providing us with space and time so that we may familiarise ourselves with their homes, villages and workplaces. And they all fed us, too, with delicious local cuisine. Last but not least, we salute our chai makers. The presence of chai continues to bind ourselves to each other, reminding us to take a breather.
-- Andrew Garton & Cathy Chen
Right to Know: India’s Internet Avant-garde takes the reader on a journey rich in stories, learning and reflection, and powerful images. Paging through the book feels like slipping inside a fable: a fable about connectivity, about how connections are always more about people, their lives and struggles, than about cables or computers. Like all good fables it pulls together its many strands with wise words: ...it’s clearly not just about the technology. It’s a story about people at the base of each tower and how they respond to local needs, what they learn from and teach each other. It’s about the literacy in illiteracy; that in each person who is unable to read and write are traditions and knowledge shared and known when the means to read or write were unknown or not required. (page 27) -- Anriette Estherhuysen, APC