Paving the way for Digital Empowerment
Letter From the Editor
Last month was the most important time in our lives as we hosted one of the most important international personalities of Global Digital World, Chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in Chandauli village, Alwar district, Rajasthan.
Mark was here because India happens to be an important destination for his ambitious social development venture, Internet.org, that envisions to provide affordable broadband internet to grassroots communities in third world countries. I believe, Chandauli experience was as enriching for Mark as it was a privilege for us because we welcomed him in the first Minority Cyber village that we established in partnership with Ministry of Minority Affairs under 'Minority Cyber Gram Yojana', to extend digital footprints to Meo Muslim population in the area.
If Mark Zuckerberg has a vision, we have a commitment. We believe, such a huge task cannot be achieved by a single effort. We need as many minds and hands working towards a common goal as we can get. And recognizing and appreciating innovations that contribute to digital growth is certainly one way of going forward.
E-Uttara Award concluded in Lucknow on 11th October, 2014, recognises innovative digital projects in Uttar Pradesh. In its opening year itself, the award received whopping 397 entries. 46 finalists were shortlisted and 14 most innovative digital ventures won the prestigious E-Uttara award at a gala event, organized at Hotel Clarks Awadh, Lucknow.
Our motto in live is to empower marginalized sections of society, whether it's grassroots communities or disabled people.
According to the 2011 national census, 2.13% of the Indian population (about 22 million persons) had some form of disability. We collaborated with UNESCO and the Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India, to organize a two day National Conference and Exhibition on 'ICT for Persons with Disabilities: Taking Stock and Identifying Opportunities'. This may be a drop in the ocean to encourage social and economic inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, but there will be many more innovative measures to address this cause in the near future.
Mobile phone is fast emerging as a powerful device for information dissemination.
We along with UNICEF India organized a state consultation with regards to "Mobile Phones: A Tool for Social & Behaviour Change". It was the third consultation in the series that aims to explore various projects where women, adolescent girls and youth have effectively used mobiles in areas of health, education, sanitation, environment and monitoring and training of frontline workers.
We are stepping into the future by leaps and bounds. And events like Mark Zuckerberg visiting Chandauli village acts like testosterone to our impassioned spirits.
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With the motto of 'Inform, Communicate and Empower,' Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) started its journey in the month of December, 2002. Based out of New Delhi and registered as not-for-profit under the "Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, the effort at DEF has been to find sustainable Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions including digital and new media to address digital divide in under-served and unreached regions and communities. With a non-political approach, it was founded to contribute to an enabling social and economic order in India as well as in developing societies with the need based support of ICT tools and means. With ground work since 2003, DEF has reached over 22 States and 8 countries.
DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION
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