(Ditulis untuk mengikuti Lomba Essay International yang diselenggarakan oleh Goi Peace Foundation, Japan)
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” (Walt Disney)
That is the quote that I like the most since I was in senior high school. Even though I live in a small village with limited access to the information and technology, I always remember that words to motivate myself to pursue my dreams. At that time, I heard and realized the importance of internet as one of information and communication technologies from which I can find the steps to achieve my ideals and aspirations. It is a very useful and powerful tool if we use it in a good way. If everyone can take the benefit of internet, I’m sure there will be a good future for them, for the country, and also for the world.
However, the internet access is still expensive in my home country so that people get limited access to it. Compared to developed countries such as Germany whose internet access is 20 Euro per 16 megabyte and US which costs $20 per 50 mb, in Indonesia it costs Rp 200,000 (about US$20) per 1 mb per month. Therefore, only those who have enough budget to pay for internet access, most of whom live in the cities. Meanwhile, people in remote areas still don’t have internet access at all. Not only do they need to spend much cost, but also they have little knowledge about internet or even not at all. I think this is the big problem.
Indonesia is a very populated country (there are more than 200 million people). About 50% of its people are farmers and fishermen, most of whom live in suburban areas. Morover, many of them are youths who may be potential for the development of the country. Unfortunately, most of them are less educated and have no access to the latest information which they need to know. Seeing this, I am always asking to myself, “How can farmers know the best fertilizers for their plants? How can fishermen have the best method to sell their fish? How can youth share their brilliant ideas and show their potential skills? How can those people know about the vision and mission of presidential candidates for whom they will vote? How can those people get as much as information they need through internet if they have no access to it or cannot operate it at all?”
To overcome this, I think I want to conduct a research which I will begin with three steps. First, I will collect information about remote areas in my home country which have no access to internet. Of course, I need some helps from the local government to get some details of the areas. Then, I will propose to the government to provide low-cost or even free internet access in those remote areas. I’m glad that the government in my country has already planned this but it still has not been implemented yet. My task is to support this program in order that it can be performed in the near future. Finally, when those areas have enough access to internet, we need some educators to train people living in that areas about internet, and I will be one of them. Even though it is a simple thing for us, I believe that it may mean a lot to other people.
I think this is one of many problems in my country. The same case may also happen in other developing countries, where people living in remote areas don’t have the same access to the products of science and technology as those living in the cities. it is not about how complicated the technology is, but how much it can benefit all people in the world. I believe when all people are internet literate, they can be well-informed, self-independent, and most of all, they can respect each other, share positive things, and give mutual benefit not only with people in the same country but also with those from different parts of the world.
We, either as the inventor or the user of scientific and technological products, are responsible for leading them to the way they are intended, i.e. to create a sustainable and peaceful world for all human beings and everything around them. However, to make the change into a better world, we don’t need to do complicated and hard things. Yet, we can begin with three Ss: start from ourselves, start from small things, and start from now! (ceps)