mobile phones in india
Village elders in India are demanding that the digital revolution leave girls like her behind.Reuters

There is at least one group deliberately being excluded from India's growing digital revolution: girls and young women, who are banned from using mobile phones in a number of villages.

Several village councils or panchayats have banned the use of the phones by girls because male elders who rule the communities say they are not good for females.

"Girls get spoiled and get involved in relationships with boys at a young age because they use phones," said a member of a council in a village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. "This further leads to crime against them. In our times, there were no such problems, but this technology has spoiled them and we needed to curb it."

The council has banned all mobile phone use by girls under the age of 18. Their parents face fines for infractions cost or the girls have to sweep the village roads.

The village of Suraj in Gujarat has also banned the use of mobiles phones by girls and single young women — unless they use their parents' phone to accept calls from relatives, reports the Independent.

The village council declared technology a "nuisance," apparently particularly for females.

The council compared the use of mobile phones to drinking alcohol, saying that the phones distracted girls from studies and housework.

"Alcohol consumption by men and cell phone use by women creates a lot of disturbance in society," said Raikarnji Thakor, a community leader from north Gujarat.

Violators face fines of the equivalent of $30 (£21), and informers get awards of $3 (£2).

Some villages have long banned mobile phone use by all women.

"Mobile phones are the cause of all evils in our society, including increasing love affairs and the incidents of elopement," claimed the head of the council in the village of Bihar when it passed such a ban in 2012.

India is notable for its generally high use of technology that's largely confined to males. The massive nation has a billion phone subscribers. But nearly 88% of rural internet users are male, while only 12% are female.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been campaigning for its Digital India initiative to connect more Indians who don't have access to the Internet.