Divjot Bawa is a rising sophomore in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs and minoring in Computer Science. Originally from northern Virginia, he plans to use his education to leverage data-driven solutions to help optimize the way in which the public sector serves its constituents. As a proud Sikh American, he is passionate about raising awareness and advocating against the marginalization of underrepresented minorities; he currently is overseeing a national advocacy coalition involving thirty universities to support the #SaveAfghanSikhsandHindus campaign.
About the collection:
Divjot collected digital content circulating on WhatsApp from Amritsar, in northern India, sent by his grandmother every day. He organized the content as follows: 1) misinformation, 2) humor, 3) relief efforts, and 4) historical impact. First, he wanted to highlight a unique part of the world and an aspect of how their online space is reacting to the ongoing pandemic. Second, he chose WhatsApp specifically as this platform plays an instrumental role in daily life in India– especially among seniors. Third, by the nature of the app itself, the content that is circulated is forwarded or re-shared, so that popular content will reach a vast number. Recently, this has become detrimental, as some of the content is misleading or outright wrong. This is problematic when seniors use this information primarily to educate themselves about the pandemic.