SmartPreneurs Of Smartpur

The entrepreneurs of Smartpur are becoming the new age digital change makers; most of them have initiated small scale social interventions at their local village levels.. Indira, a social entrepreneur from village Asoor, is now a health-based community leader. She organises health camps with support from the foundation on a regular basis now. Her endeavours are benefitting the locals, especially women from her and the nearby villages. On July 4, she organised a health camp that was attended by 32 women at the village Smartpur centre. The regular check-up is done by the block-level general physician with whom Indira has tied up for the cause onthly health camp. The camp was organised in partnership with Geomeo Informatics, that helps in creating dedicated digital infrastructure and ensures skill building. Geomeo is a knowledge partner with Smartpur and is implementing its digital innovations with support of wireless technology that can help villagers to measure and analyse the body vitals. Read More

Post no evil, share no evil and comment no evil: TikTok
TikTok has partnered with the Digital Empowerment Foundation to execute a digital literacy programme focused user generated content platforms. Read More
Meghalaya | ‘Survival of the Wittiest’ – Of Social media & Fake news
Read how Digital Empowerment Foundation is fighting misinformation and fake news by conducting workshops with the police. Read More
Why TikTok needs to advertise in India
In order, to get to the right side of things, the video sharing app has rolled out its first campaign called, #WaitASecToReflect. Read More
Red Bricks and Sand For Nourishment? Horror Tales Of Pregnant Women In UP Villages
The Prime Minister's overarching scheme for holistic nourishment (POSHAN) is banking on its Preraks (assistants) to spread the good word on nutrition in rural areas. Read More

Building capacities through social media
DEF in collaborations with Yuva Vikas Samiti in Basti Uttar Pradesh conducted a day-long workshop on capacity building through social media for the grassroots civil society organisations on August 13. The primary objective of the workshop was to increase visibility and help these organisations learn new digital tools and techniques for sustainable development. The workshop also comprised of training session on identifying and battling fake news or misinformation on private messaging channel like WhatsApp. “The workshop was very informative. We are happy to learn latest digital solutions,” said Poonam Singh, an attendee. Over 50 organisations participated in the event.
Fighting fake news and misinformation
On August 15 2019, at around 9.30pm, the twitter account of Meghalaya Police was tagged by a twitterati, whereby a video was shared along with a tweet informing that it was an SOS message through social media to rescue 2000 Sikh families who are stuck in a Gurudwara. So much so that, the message was also seen by the Punjab Chief Minister, and he also officially shared his concern. Fake news and misinformation has been an issue in Meghalaya, especially Shillong. In order to tackle this issue of misinformation, DEF conducted a workshop with Meghalaya Police on August 27, 2019. Read More
Digitally preserving indigenous languages
Starting with anecdote about an octogenarian woman—lone speaker of a native tongue in Nepal—Subhashish Panigrahi, an activist for marginalised languages set the tone for the in-house DEFDialogue. Every member of Digital Empowerment Foundation was now actively a part of his journey of trying to digitally safeguard the dying languages. Emphasising on need of preserving languages, he said “Each language comes with its cultures and traditions. When a language dies, all these things die along with it. And oral languages are at a high risk of perishing.” Listen to him speak on digital interventions here.
Technology aiding business growth
A homemaker, Radha had no knowledge for computers before joining the TEG programme. Once she became a part of the course, she learnt the basics of Computer, Internet features, MS Office, online banking, Google Pay and more. Being able to use the internet efficiently, now she is confident that with all the digital knowledge she would be able to run her business well. In fact, she has also learnt soft skills and applies in her venture plan. She is grateful to DEF-IPLM Programme for giving her ample support for her career along with NASSCOM Foundation for helping her find success.
Using digital space for employment
A resident of Kamareddy, Shruthi is a degree holder from local college. She has been actively looking for employment opportunities. However, she was unaware of the processes for the same. Unable to access and apply through online application forms, she decided to enroll herself for a TeG course. Joining the course has helped her learn how to apply for jobs online along with filling up application forms. In fact, she has been able to improve her command over English language and has also developed her soft skills.
Innovating through digital knowledge
Gayatri taught her neighbour Lakshmi how to get online, and since then she’s been researching online to bring innovation to her tailoring business. She looks online for sari, blouse and bag designs - finding inspiration and techniques needed to push her work as a seamstress to new heights. She now charges much more for her work and uses the extra money she makes to pay for her education, support her mother, and more recently, treat herself to a gold ring. She is training uneducated women in her area on how to use voice search to find information that can help them with everything.
Technology empowering women
Recent reports by Child Rights and You (CRY) states that a child is sexually abused every 15 minutes. Most of the time, the children targeted are very young and usually below nine years of age. In this scenario, Digital Empowerment Foundation decided that it is important to impart knowledge among the children where Smartpur project is actively running on ‘good touch and bad touch’ since the report also states that in approximately 95 per cent cases of child abuse, the perpetrator is someone they know- acquaintances including neighbours and family members. In 10 per cent cases, children were raped by their own relatives. Read More
Digital literacy empowering girls
Laxmi Basavraj Walekar, a 21-year-old student, was very curious about the technology and the digital world. Having only heard about Facebook and Twitter, she joined the digital literacy classes to learn more about social media and the Internet in general. Once she became a part of the digital literacy classes, not only did she learn more about social media – including Instagram – but also learnt how to do online shopping and e-transactions. In fact, she now pays her bills using PayTm and BHIM applications. Along with these, she has learnt how to book railway and bus tickets.
Breaking menstrual stereotypes
A 14-year-old Chandra from Chirala village in Andhra Pradesh only had a basic understanding of menstruation that was given by her sister. Trying to break stereotypes, she plays volleyball in school even when she is menstruating. However, she does face isolation at home during the five-day-period when her grandmother asks her to sleep on the floor in isolation. “Yes, sometimes I feel like I am imprisoned, but I am happy that I have to do less household chores,” she says that the educational session by DEF-WASH trainer at her school has helped her bust myths associated with periods.
Changing perceptions of social media
Priyanka Navnath Malusare, a 32-year-old homemaker, hails from a middle class family. Although she had a basic understanding of computers, she wanted to understand how to use her smartphone to its full potential. Once she joined the digital literacy classes, she learnt how to use social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among many more. She also learnt how online shopping applications work and how to use them efficiently. “I was anxious about uploading pictures on social media earlier. But now, I am aware of the safety features and don’t worry about uploading my photos!” she said.
Quick fix for government schemes
Ritesh Kujur lives in small village Malar under Kundi in Jharkhand’s Ranchi with his family. His father is a farmer and works in the field for the livelihood; Ritesh too supports the family in their farming practices. Though smartphone owners, the hardly knew about government schemes tailored for them and available online. With the help of SoochnaPreneur, they have now applied for labour insurance scheme. Within few days, he received his Insurance card and is now very happy because working class people in his village had no insurance policy due to shortage of money. Through this insurance policy he can now avail benefit from five schemes.
Rewa women become home sharers
SHE Hosts project that aims at encouraging rural women to earn livelihood by sharing home is now spreading its wings in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. An initiative by DEF and Airbnb, several awareness and hospitality trainings have been organised by the initiative. Women were told how to convert home in a guest house in simple steps. At Rewa, under this livelihood training across eight blocks, 12-15 candidates from each location participated and got an insight into the operation. So far 8200 women from seven states have been aware under the project.
Celebrating Handloom Day with weavers
DEF is working to promote genuine, global quality handloom in international markets and aims to help weavers in more than 10 clusters spread across different states in India. On August 7, National Handloom Day, a session was organised on "Handloom and its importance” in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh where a video on importance of looms was also screened for the girls from weaver families. In Chirala, a visit was made to Ramannapet village by the Smartpur team where they met a few weavers to inform them about various online opportunities available to sell their products.

Ocean in a Drop

My Voice, My Right

DEF Dialogue with Subhashish

Bringing the world closer - One step at a time
Dr. Amit Nagpal
Storytelle, Social Entrepreneur and Author
“Understanding languages and other cultures build bridges. It is the fastest way to bring the world closer together and to the truth. Building empathy and understanding, people will be able to see their similarities before the differences”, Suzy Kassem beautifully puts up how we can build bridges between cultures. Social media has become an important platform for people from across the globe to converse with and understand each other. Social media has democratised storytelling... Read More
Desi Kheti

Nand Kishore is a farmer from Bhimukh village in Madhya Pradesh. A class 12th passout, he created his Youtube channel after learning bee farming by watching Youtube videos. His videos educate farmers about efficient alternatives to traditional farming. For example, when there is less availability of water during summers, farmers should grow Tilli (black sesame) because it needs less water and is resistant to diseases. These videos are not only a rich source of information for illiterate farmers, they also help build farmer’s communities. His most watched video - ‘How Water comes to a Well’, raked in 9.3 lakh views.

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Digital Empowerment Foundation aims to connect unreached and underserved communities of India to bring them out of digital darkness and empower them with information access through last mile connectivity, digital literacy and digital interventions. Established in 2002, with the motto to ‘Inform, Communicate and Empower,’ DEF aims to find sustainable ICT solutions to overcome information poverty in rural locations of India.

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