Digital Empowerment Foundation was established in 2002 with an aim to connect unreached and underserved communities of India in an effort to bring them out of digital darkness and equip them with access to information.
DEF has ground presence at 345 locations across 100 districts of 22 states.
DEF has its genesis in the realisation that India’s vast majority that lives in rural India — who are also poor and illiterate — are deprived of their rights, their entitlements, their basic needs and information to improve their lives. Even in the growing digital world, they are excluded from the groups of information consumers and information producers. As much as 60 to 70 per cent of India lives in media dark areas, with little chance to access information. Supporting this realisation was the realisation that digital tools and connectivity are the most important and democratic tools to pull people out of deprivation and provide them with equitable access to information about education, health, livelihood, governance, rights and more. Today, almost every piece of information is parked online. Governance has moved to e-Governance. Access to entitlements is now available through the online route. However, one billion Indians still don’t have access to the Internet. This became the foundation for DEF. We understood the importance to provide people with connectivity, to make people digitally literate, to encourage people to adopt digital tools and to establish connectivity as basic infrastructure.
DEF receives funding and grants from various national and international donor organisations, corporate groups and government departments.
Our approach has always taken us to rural, semi-rural, remote and tribal locations of India. In the last few years, we have been consciously trying to work specifically in the identified backward districts of India. There are 272 backward districts in India, and we want to digitally enable marginalised and underserved communities in these districts to bring them out of information poverty and empower them with digital tools and technology to improve their lives.
Yes, donations to Save the Children are tax deductible. Those making contributions to DEF will receive an 80G certificate from us.