That's what technology is for. Technology is not for the sake of itself. It is there to solve human problems. That is a point we (as a nation) do not understand. We become engineers or doctors whatever the else hell we become without knowing why we're doing it.
We talk of IT, but all we have done in the name of IT, truly, in all these years, is:
- establish shops that sell computers
- establish shops that sell computer CDs
- establish the so-called software houses, who are for the most part not doing so well
- establish call centers, train jobless graduates and throw them in to take pizza orders
- establish so-called IT "universities" in bungalows, churning out IT degrees to anyone and everyone who happens to be interested in an admission there
The reason everything is faring badly, except for the shops (well the universities are making lots of money, too, but if you look at the output they are producing, I wouldnt call it success) is that we are thinking IT for the sake of IT. Computer to play games, chat or whatever. We're not solving the real problems that we should've solved. Few banks in our country are tech savvy. Airlines and civil aviation is only so much IT enabled. We are way far behind where we should be because we are not moving at all, let alone in the wrong direction. Well, we are moving in the wrong direction on every other count, but as far as IT is concerned, we arent even doing that.
So, back to my point, the disaster, the tremors. IT could be an enabler for so many things here. IT could do wonders here. Saving lives, speeding up so many other (sometimes life) critical processes. But, look at the situation, the million dollar telecom investors are riding people's shoulders by providing telephone booths and stuff in those areas. In the end, people will remember Telenor for they enabled them to call some disaster "relief" center to find out about the well being of their loved ones. IT, on the other hand, will go unnoticed. If IT were to take the lime light, as it should, because compared to IT, even telecom takes the back seat, and telecom wouldnt be anything if it werent for the computing infrastructure, then our society would begin to give IT its proper place and see it as an enabler of sorts, and not as a laptop that seth sahib wants to buy because it's a status symbol.
But unfortunately, that is not going to happen. PASHA is running around to do something. Several other people are talking about what should be done. Zohaib Hassan talked about building a website. One person on a mailing list that I subscribe to, wanted to build a similar website. 100 different people and organizations will be interested in it. A few of them will develop unconnected, uncoordinated solutions, that no one will really use, and the golden opportunity will be lost. Hasta la vista, IT!