‘Access is my Right’ is a short film about life in Guna, Madhya Pradesh. Guna is one of the most backward districts of India; and many living in this area suffer from non-availability of information or any kind of media. This film explores the lives of people living in complete information darkness in such unconnected regions of the country; and how the scenario can change for the better once people are given access to infrastructure to access this information on their own. Guna houses one of DEF’s 170+ CIRCs.
Yash Yadav was inspired to learn computers after he saw his sister working on a laptop. He now visits the CIRC daily to study and play games. Community Information Resource Centres (CIRCs) across 22 states of India act as one-stop hubs for people to get access to digital literacy training; infrastructure to go online; knowledge on how to find relevant information; and government schemes and entitlements. However, this is not what CIRCs are restricted to. Children come to play games online, women look up recipes; musicians upload their songs on YouTube and so much more.
This Soochna Seva campaign song aims at creating awareness among rural communities about their right to information. Soochna Seva was initiated to strengthen the RTI Act and to address the larger issues of poverty, development, social exclusion and inequity of marginalised groups through information empowerment. Soochna Seva Kendras offer integrated information services and access to citizen entitlements in Tehri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), Guna (Madhya Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Barmer (Rajasthan) and West Champaran (Bihar).
The online space is expanding and it is brutally democratic and open. Many feel that digital media are annihilating minority languages rather than allowing them to thrive but it cannot be denied that digital media are an effective tool to preserve, revitalise and spread culture globally. If a language is to be upheld digitally, all it takes is a device to be able to view, connect and share. At the LangDev Conference 2016, DEF Founder-Director Osama Manzar threw light on how the Internet is breaking language barriers for millions.
This film explores the lives of traditional Ikat weavers of in Odisha before and after they were introduced to digital literacy and access to information. These clusters are known for weaving sarees in cotton, silk and tussar. Project DigiKala, under DEF’s Digital Cluster Development Programme, has introduced inclusive and decentralised use of ICT and other digital tools in critical aspects of handloom cluster development to improve and scale up weaving skills, designs, marketing and entrepreneurship, besides creating sustainable livelihood options for the youth.
‘Digitally Enabled’ is a five-part video series that highlight the role of the Internet and digital tools in our daily lives to bridge the knowledge gap between policy-makers and end-users. ‘Last Mile Connectivity’ is the first in this series; and explores the need for and advantage of access to the Internet in not just urban but rural and remote locations of India too. The film reflects the changes that are taking place in a village called Nichlagarh in Rajasthan ever since the community was enabled with wireless Internet connectivity and access to computers.