Empowering leaders of tomorrow

On September 18, convening of the GOAL – Going Online As Leaders – programme was held in Bhubaneswar. Its success was visible when the enthusiastic Mentees participated in the event by addressing the crowd – something that they had not indulged in before. GOAL is a mentorship programme empowering young women from rural and tribal regions in India to become leaders of tomorrow. Under this initiative, successful urban women leader, who hold expertise in their respective domains—from business, education and health to politics, arts and entrepreneurship —inspire, guide and encourage young women to gain confidence. Read More

Training community leaders on curbing fake news
WhatsApp has partnered with Digital Empowerment Foundation to train community leaders on curbing fake news. 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

eNGO Challenge Awards are here!
There are multitudes of not-for-profit and civil society organisations around the world that are working for the socio-economic development of diverse marginalised and vulnerable communities. However, grassroots organisations struggle to survive due to lack of funding, adequate human resources, skills and perseverance. eNGO Programme instituted the eNGO Challenge Awards with the objective to recognise and felicitate such organizations doing exceptional work using digital tools. In its 7th year of existence, the award recognizes best practices from across all of South Asia. With 440 nominations coming in this year, the Awards Gala will be held on December 16 in New Delhi.
Technology aiding business growth
Smartpur stands on the foundation of six pillars, namely education, health, finance, governance, livelihood and entertainment. Each of these pillars are further supported by wireless broadband access-enabled digital infrastructure, leading to efficiency in daily lives, transparency in governance, economic prosperity for households, and ease of access to various kinds of services and information. Every month various sessions are held and important events are celebrated to spread awareness such as counselling sessions, health camps. Important events like World Alzheimer’s Day, International Literacy Day and Fit India Movement were also held this month. Read More
Enhancing communication skills with TeG
Digital Empowerment Foundation’s TeG program is enabling girls from underprivileged background to become digitally literate. Mounika. P who completed her graduation from the local college in Kamareddy has benefitted greatly from the TeG course and believes it is a great opportunity for girls like her. They have been able to improve their communication skills, typing speed, etc. in a short span of time, that too without paying any additional fees. She utilized the internet to apply for various jobs and has recently joined Ghadikota Trust, Domakonda as a Computer teacher. Joining the TeG programme has been a life changing experience for her and is grateful for this opportunity!
Girls embracing technology
A resident of Mahabubnagaer, Sandhya Rani is a graduate. Before joining DEF’s TEG program, she had no knowledge of operating computers but has now become adept at using them. She recently realized her dream of becoming a data entry operator and has just landed a great job. The TEG program has enabled her to learn a myriad of functions, gain proficiency in using the MS Suite, Google Chrome, facilitate online banking, use platforms such as Google Pay, PayTM and others to recharge her phone, make purchases online, etc. Today, she is extremely proud of herself and credits the TEG program for transforming her life!
Digitalising and Building Policies
US India Policy Institute and Digital Empowerment Foundation, working towards empowering the digitally marginalised, joined hands to digitalise remote regions of India. The two organisations have planned to set up digital centers in remote villages and towns to conduct action research to inform about the government’s policies affecting these communities. Two-fold focus for the collaboration includes: setting up Community Information Resource Centers (CIRC) in rural and remote locations of India for digital empowerment of the communities, and, gathering data and carrying out action research projects through the CIRC to generate evidence based policy options for the government.
Spreading her wings of knowledge
I am Jyoti from Umedpur village in district Buxar. Initially when I joined the Internet saathi programme, I used to be really nervous especially while talking to new people. How will I explain them? Will I be able to do this work well or not? But as the training progressed I overcame my fears and was even able to hep other rural women from surrounding villages, especially in the age group of 40-60 years. I was able to teach them how to operate a smartphone, internet and how it can assist them in their daily life. This helped the women in their sewing and embroidery work as well to search for new designs. Now I teach in a private school near my village, which would have been hard to believe a few years back.
Giving new hope
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
A step towards going digital
My name is Rekha Dadarao Kshirsagar and I belong to Milindnagar near Kalyani steel. When I first came for an anganwadi meeting, I got to know about the course and was very interested to join because I lake of computer knowledge. Since the government was also making our anganwadi to go digital, it became necessary to learn basic computer and internet. During the course I learned more about the online applications such as e-mailing, Google apps, and online websites. We have to now file data online which will be useful in my anganwadi work.
The power of internet
I am Sameena Shakur Shaikh from Vikasnagar Ghorpadigaon. Due to family reasons I had to leave my studies and work as a housekeeper. During that time, I got to know about this course and immediately enrolled for it. Since I am a garbage collector, the coordinators adjusted the schedule so that I could attend the classes after work. Now, I am independently able to manage my online activities. I was able to correct my name on the aadhaar card and also download it on my own when it was immediately needed at my son’s school. Now I work and learn simultaneously.
Building Community Entrepreneurship and Fighting Misinformation
WhatsNext, an initiative of WhatsApp India and Digital Empowerment Foundation, has emerged out of their successful partnership in ‘Fighting Fake News' effectively in India. Taking the partnership forward, WhatsNext aims to enhance the reach of WhatsApp as a primary tool of productive communication and constructive capacity building by driving the entrepreneurial efficiency through WhatsApp Business. Around 300 young persons will be trained to become Master Trainers (MTs), chosen from semi-urban and rural parts of India. Each MT represents an ‘Information Cadre’ by further training 100 people in their area creating an information awareness zone for WhatsApp Business and Fighting Misinformation.
Stemming the wave of knowledge
STEM project, an initiative of IBM, Quest Alliance and Telangana State Government implemented by Digital Empowerment Foundation, organised a training programme from October 3-6 at Yousufguda, Hyderabad. During the training, 24 facilitators attended the programme from various districts of Telangana. They were trained by a team of Quest Alliance to teach 8th & 9th standard students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students from 58 Telangana Social Welfare Residential Schools will be trained by these facilitators later. During the training, Dr.Shahid Siddiqui interacted with the facilitators regarding accommodation, training, facilities and also took feedback about the curriculum.
A Vision Combined with Venture
In Ratnapuran, Gaunaha, SP ‘Kanhaiya’ runs his ‘Soochna Seva Kendra’ with the prime aim of spreading information regarding government welfare schemes and benefits available to the needy. He also keeps a record of all the local people being linked with the government welfare schemes by him and visits the community regularly to mobilise people about visiting his center and linking them with these welfare schemes. Recently, during his door-to-door-visits, he found out that there are still few farmers who are unaware of these schemes. Neither did they have farmer registration cards, nor were they aware of the benefits after availing the scheme. Read More
Empowering the differently-abled
DEF identified 100 persons with physical disability to digitally enable them to become sustainable village-level entrepreneurs to not only earn a livelihood but also serve the community. 100 locations across 23 states have been chosen, which are also government identified backward districts. One person with has been identified to get trained in digital literacy. The programme, Samarth SoochnaPreneur, is in its initial stage and the potential beneficiaries have been oriented. This will provide the person with disability with an independent profession to support his or her family’s livelihood, subsequently providing them with respect and dignity to feel confident and valued.
Kollegal weavers's sustainable ecosystem
Bengaluru based Selco Foundations’ livelihood team visited our Kaulava centre in Hanur village of Kollegal on September 24. The team included Dheeraj, Manager Textile designing, GN Raghu, Project Co-coordinator Textile designing, Yuvaakumar, Field coordinator, and Suresh, Sales Executive. They saw how solar energy-enabled spinning yarn can ease life of the weavers. They agreed to visit again and meanwhile come up with a new design for solar spinning yarn machine. Selco also plans to set up a solar thread rolling machine at a low cost. This will help weavers to increase production and be less dependent for other weaving related work.
Building entrepreneurship skills digitally
DEF’s project SheHosts is now spreading its wings in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. Under this program, DEF has conducted preliminary awareness training for women, teaching them how to convert one's home into a guest house by using an easily available, easy to use app- Airbnb. In Rewa, this training has been conducted in 8 blocks, where 12-15 candidates from each location were educated on how they could utilise this livelihood opportunity to enhance their incomes. 8200 women from 7 states have been made aware of the operational requirements and DEF is continuously striving to reach more beneficiaries.
Developing problem solving guide
DEF has collaborated with Bertelsmann Foundation to develop Maastricht University’s creative problem solving course. This programme leverages DEF’s experience of more than 16 years in delivering multi-year development programmes that have connected the un-derserved communities to realise development initiatives and facilitate access to crucial information, through the use of information and communication technologies. This is complemented by the Bertelsmann Foundation’s expertise in providing analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political and social challenges impacting the US and Europe, through its research, debate forums and multimedia tools.

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Social Media Kozikode

The Rise of the mobiles
Bikram Shrestha
Internet Society Nepal
In today’s world, mobile devices cannot be separated from day-to-day life. Our needs and demands for mobile facilities/services are constantly on the rise and are gradually fulfilled by new innovations and technologies. Society at large uses mobile to communicate, do business, perform banking transactions, learn, travel and live in comfort. These days, a mobile device is both general-purpose technology (GPT) used for a better and smart lifestyle as well as a safety device to be used in emergencies. The rapid development of mobile technology has played a key role in shaping social life. Read More
Skin Stories

Skin Stories is an online publication of the sexuality and disability programme at Point of View. The uniqueness of this platform is that it is solely dedicated to publishing first person narratives on disability, sexuality and gender. A community of growing writers, they do not only talk about sexuality but also a myriad of aspects of living with disabilities and debilitating conditions such as navigating friendships, family, relationships, workplaces, homes, fears, discrimination, stigma, and more. Together, the essays convey simplistic notions about what it means to live with disability, and bust harmful myths surrounding this issue.

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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.

House No. 44, 3rd Floor, Kalu Sarai, New Delhi | def@defindia.net | www.defindia.org | +91-11-26532786