Vol 3 Issue 11 | November-December 2014
 Paving the way for Digital Empowerment
Letter From the Editor
Dear Readers,

We are committed towards empowerment through ICT tools. And empowerment is taking place at a fast pace in villages, districts and towns. Technology is penetrating into people's lives and giving them voice and perspective they never had. Now they realize their potential. They are grabbing every chance they were deprived of earlier, to re-invent themselves.

We have a mission, and we are moving ahead consistently towards our goal with your support.

November brought many opportunities to move at a brisk pace towards the direction we seek.

We believe, being aware of our rights is a vital aspect of development. DEF partnered with European Union and Association of Progressive Communication to initiate a significant project, 'APC-Impact: India, Malaysia and Pakistan; Advocacy for change through technology' to address 'Networking for online and offline: protecting freedom of information, expression and association on the internet in India, Malaysia and Pakistan'. It is a key project that will work towards spreading awareness and understanding about internet rights, which is one area that is still far from gathering momentum in the developing countries.

Speaking of rights, there are 650 million persons with disability around the world who have as much right as everybody else if not more, to exist with respect and dignity.

We initiated a session on 'The Role of ICTs and Assistive Technologies: Promoting Self-reliance and Livelihoods for Persons with Disabilities' during UNESCO's International Conference. Some of the key recommendations that resulted from the session are- for the government to ensure new technologies and providing grants; for the industry to change mind-sets, have a systematic roster of disabled people, make websites more accessible to visually impaired; and as far as education is concerned, providing needed training for university support staff, career counselling & spreading knowledge of opportunities for PWD.

We held two important awards this month.

‘eNGO Challenge South Asia 2014’ is a joint initiative of Public Interest Registry (PIR) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). We recognised and honoured some of the most dynamic NGOs who are using Information Communication Technology (ICT) and digital media tools for good governance and practices benefiting societies and communities at large.

Then 'Social Media for Empowerment Award' felicitated distinguished entrepreneurs and teams who are the trail-blazers in pursuing social media. We followed it up by organizing a productive discussion session with the winners facilitated by America Centre to understand and improve our approach and follow-up. Furthermore, we also arranged a one-hour e-heritage walk in Old Delhi for them as an extension of our e-heritage project. They had a great time exploring the narrow lanes which still retains vestiges of the glorious bygone era and efficiently utilized their proficiency in social media to share their experiences online as we went along. The walk was concluded with a sumptuous Old Delhi meal that delighted the Social Media Awardees beyond measure.

From a great walk, to a successful run. Following up on its triumph last year; second edition of Red Rickshaw Revolution kick-started from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It is an initiative undertaken by DEF in partnership with Vodafone Foundation to celebrate the achievements of ordinary Indian women accomplishing extraordinary feats across India. This year, RRR celebrates achievements of 20 inspirational Women Leaders/Farmers across 8 states from West to East India, and raises awareness at the village level on issues pertaining to governance, women and agriculture.

On to December; this is the month for our flagship award event, Manthan Awards, 2014, that recognises ICT innovators from across South Asia and Asia pacific countries. For the last 11 years Manthan Awards has created a network of more than 10,000 digital innovations that are and would be playing critical role in bridging digital divide and creating information society.

This time we also organized 'Manthan Digital Inclusion Film Festival (MDIFF)' on the sidelines of Manthan Awards. MDIFF is designed as communal participation, engagement, learning, awareness and discussion through creative and innovative films produced on the subject of digital empowerment of grassroots communities through various ICT tools such as Broadband Internet, mobile, community radio, TV, Website, IVR, Computers.

We also joined hands with Population Foundation of India (PFI)‟ to promote the first season of 52 episodes television serial for Doordarshan produced by PFI, “Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon (MKBKSH)”, through DEF’s Community Information Resource Centers (CIRC), Community Radios and Social Media. MKBKSH throws a severe spot-light on pertinent issues such as gender inequality, infanticide and women’s health, that despite being a white elephant in the room, often gets euphemized under the veil of tradition, culture and honour.

In 2014, we rose and sailed while successfully undertaking many initiatives aimed at our vision of achieving development through digital empowerment. And as we draw closer to the year end, we already have our eyes and minds set on bigger goals we have lined up for 2015.

We look forward to your support and participation as always.
More than 6 decades after independence, there is always a strange paradox which has persistently existing in India. Each year Indian government spend colossal amount of resources and money for the implementation of the welfare and social support programmes. Despite this effort, there is no proportionate improvement in the condition of the marginalized in India & identified districts under one of DEF's programme Soochna Seva programme i.e. Guna.Read more
Recent Activities
Advocating Change Through Technology
Session I: Project's Scope, Objectives and Activities Project's scope, objectives and activities of the project were presented in front of advisory committee members for correction/additions. The project should understand and identify the following aspects of online versus offline laws.Internet should not be used as a mere medium but it should be treated as something where we exercise our citizenship. To identify legal literacy/awareness as a serious issue (since there are laws which are there to protect human rights but due to lacunae in the judicial and political system. Read more
Feclicitating Best Practice in Northeast India
With much greater focus on how Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools and applications can provide need based and sustainable solutions to the problems of connectivity, public service delivery and building trust in governments in North East India, the 5th edition of the eNorth East Summit 2014 was held on November 7, 2014 at Aijal Club & Conference Hall, Assembly Secretariat, Aizawl, Mizoram. The ICT for Development programme was organized by Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT) (Govt. of Mizoram) and North East Development Foundation and co-organised by DEF & PIR. Read more
E-heritage walk for social media winners
DEF organized an e-heritage walk in the 'Walled city Shahjahanabad', famous as Old Delhi,for the winners of 'Social Media for Empowerment Award'.Shahjahanabad was built by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Emperor Shahjahan, in 1639 CE. Hence, Old Delhi is a wealth of history, culture, tradition, food, architecture, tales, customs and lifestyles. And to document this invaluable treasure trove into a website in order to amplify its accessibility, DEF and the cultural wing of UNESCO have partneredfor aproject called e-heritage. The winners have gathered to begin the walk at Turkaman Gate, which is one of the fourteen gates that leads into Old Delhi. Read more
Felicitating NGO's with Best Mobile Practices
Digital Empowerment Foundation along with Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good Awards 2014 announced the winners of the Awards in New Delhi on17th November, 2014. Committed to mobilising social change by leveraging the power and potential of the mobile technology, the Mobile for Good awards programme acknowledges and supports ideas and concepts from NGO/NFPs that effectively and efficiently empower communities and change lives in their own unique way. The five winner NGOs, were awarded INR 1.2 million each and will be mentored during the course of one year. Read more
200 ICT Innovators From Across South Asia and Asia Pacific at Manthan Award 2014
We would like to share with you that we are hosting the 11th Manthan Award on December 4th, at India Habitat Center in Delhi from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM followed by dinner. More than 200 ICT innovations will be demonstrated and select will be awarded. Many ICT players will be congregating to share their innovations that have been changing the society and would change even more if we all encourage them, support them, and collaborate with them. Read more
Manthan Awards Film Festival
Digital Empowerment Foundation has decided to stretch the envelope within Manthan Awards this year. We are embarking on a brand new journey, 'Manthan Digital Inclusion Film Festival', which is being held on the sidelines of Manthan Awards on 4th of December, in Habitat Centre, New Delhi.'Manthan Digital Inclusion Film Festival', is about communal participation, engaging, learning, awareness and discussion through creative and innovative films produced on the subject of digital empowerment of grassroots communities through various ICT tools such as Broadband Internet, mobile, community radio, TV, Website, IVR, Computers. Read more
Dissemination of information about MGNREGA
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005 was undertaken by the Govt. of India in order to provide for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to engage in such unskilled work. This act extends to the whole of India including the states of North East India but except for the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It provides for the minimum wages to the workers enrolled under the scheme in purview of the minimum wage. Read more
HWGO: Imparting Digital Literacy to women living at the bottom of pyramid!
In month of October, HWGO programme has helped 75000 to go online and experience the virtual world. The programme is presently on full swing with training programme for women belonging to students, self-help groups (SHGs); Panchayat samiti; women entrepreneurs; women NGO functionaries; dropout girls and housewives. After the completion of October 2014, through Community Information Resource Center (CIRC) we have covered approx. over 75000 of women; adolescent and dropout girls across India. Though Google's HWGO program was running on full paced since last two months in all CIRC across India. Read more
SOCIAL MEDIA: Empowering Lives
The Social Media awards has started serving since last year as a dedicated platform to explore the latent potential of ICTs tools and honor the best initiatives that have successfully brought about positive social change and/or socio-economic development and/or empowerment of women and other marginalized communities by using the power of social media. This year's award held on 20th November 2014 at Eros Hotel, New Delhi followed by a productive round table discussion between the winners and social media experts of the year on the 21st November at American Center, New Delhi. The event was graced by the presence of dignitaries. Read more
Engo Challenge: Connecting NGO's Towards a Better Future
The eNGO Challenge Award started to create an ecosystem of NGOs who are using Information Communication Technology (ICT) and digital media tools for good governance and practices benefiting societies and communities at large. The Challenge seeks to recognise, salute and honour NGOs using these mechanisms. The eNGO Challenge is a joint initiative of Public Interest Registry (PIR) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). This year's 3rd eNGO Challenge award held on 5th November 2014 at India Habitat centre, New Delhi. The event was graced by the presence of dignitaries from various countries across South Asia. In this award more 800 representatives from 600 NGO participated. Read more
Farmers for Tomorrow
Honouring the birth aniversary of Chaudhury Charan Singh, the sixth Prime Minister of free India and a noted farmer; CIRC Sonapur in sync with the entire nation celebrated Farmer’s day through a half day long programme. The centre celebrated the day jointly with the Department of Agriculture (Govt. of Assam; Sonapur Circle) among the members of the farming fraternity of Dimoria Block. Noted guest of honour Mr. Dibakar Deka, The Agricultural Development Officer (ADO), Department of Agriculture (Govt. of Assam; Sonapur Circle); Moin-Ul Haque Junior Engineer (Block Development Office) and Mr. Gyan Bordoloi (noted farmer) aggrevated the programme with vigour and enthusiasm. Read more
Celebrating Human Right
CIRC Batadrava , a Community Information & Resource Center situated in Batadrava, a rural area of Nagaon district of Assam has been trying its best to serve the local community in the field of Education, Awareness, Empowerment & all round development through or using the tools of ICT (Information Communication Technology) from the day of inception. Celebration of Universal Human Rights Day at CIRC was an initiative in this processes to aware the community about their Rights as well as their Duties.The objective of the day celebration was to make aware the common mass (Human) of their Rights & how to protect them from being violated. Read more
Manthan-200 ICT innovators from across South Asia and Asia Pacific witnessed Manthan Awards 2014
With great humility and at the same time great pride we at Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) heard these words being explicitly stated by a very senior official of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Government of India at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi on December 4, 2014. The occasion was the annual Manthan Awards, which we at DEF instituted way back in 2004 to identify and reward just those individuals and organisations who are inspired by this motto, driven by it and have taken bold, innovative steps. Read more
DEF Joins Hands with PFI to Protect Women Rights
India is one of the worst countries when it comes to women safety. ‘Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)’ has joined hands with ‘Population Foundation of India (PFI)’ to re-promote the first season of 52 episodes television serial for Doordarshan produced by PFI, “Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon (MKBKSH)”, through DEF’s Community Information Resource Centers (CIRC), Community Radios and Social Media.“Man Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon (MKBKSH)”, throws a severe spot-light on pertinent issues such as gender inequality, infanticide and women’s health. Read more
Reflecting on the Role of ICTs and Assistive Technologies at UNESCO's International Conference
The session on the role of ICTs and Assistive Technologies: Promoting Self-reliance and Livelihoods for Person with Disabilities' was conducted by Digital Empowerment Foundation in association with UNESCO on 24th November 2014. The session was a part of UNESCO's international conference on ICTs for people with disabilities which was conducted over a span of 3 days from 24th to 26th November, 2014. The objective of this Conference was to promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities and to encourage all stakeholders to take concrete measures for the empowerment of persons. Read more
RED Rikshaw Revolution
2nd edition of Red Rickshaw Revolution Launched
New Delhi, November 28, 2014: The second edition of the 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' (RRR 2 ), was launched with an initiative to celebrate the achievements of ordinary women accomplishing extraordinary feats across India. Beginning the virtual digital campaign, the young woman Sarpanch Anita Sankapale from Bhawan village near Aurangabad was recognized for her commitment towards community development work and addressing basic infrastructure issues like permanent roads, street lights, water supply and sewage system in the village.The much anticipated 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' (RRR) 2 campaign will virtually. Read more
RRR- celebrating achievements of 20 inspirational women leads from across country
After travelling to Alwar and Baran (Rajasthan), Mandvi (Gujarat), Raigarh (Chhattisgarh), Kolaras and Pohra (MP), Keonjarh and Bhadrak (Orissa), South 24 Parganas (West Bengal), the journey came to a close after reaching its final destination, Kolkata (West Bengal). The last destination was marked with a press conference at the press club of Kolkata on 17th December, 2014.The conference was graced by the presence of Mr Rohit Adya, Director, External Affairs, Vodafone India, Mr Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation , Ms Jhuma Mondal, Sarpanch, South 24 Parganas and Ms Chudamani Nayak. Read more
Indian farmers in the IT age
According to the Census of India 2011, there are 118.9 million cultivators across the country, or 24.6% of the total workforce of over 481 million. The proportion was about 50% in 1951. On the other hand the number of people working as agricultural labourers has increased from 19% in 1951 to 30% in 2011, standing at 144.3 million. According to IndiaSpend, "If we add the number of cultivators and agricultural labourers, it would be around 263 million or 22% of the population (1.2 billion). Then where does the common perception of 53% of population being involved in agriculture come from? Read more
Smart villages before smart cities
I was born in a village called Islampur in Nautan block near Bettiah town in the West Champaran district of Bihar. My father soon got a job at the Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd (HEC) in Ranchi, and our family shifted to HEC Township, 6 km from the centre of Ranchi city. The township had all the urban amenities: wide roads, open spaces, playing fields, hospitals, recreation clubs, shopping complexes and so on. Yet, my best childhood memories are of our village vacations. Read more
Digital opportunity can overcome credibility challenge of NGOs
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India have mixed lives. Sometimes, they are untouchables, but they are also the voice of the voiceless, the last mile infrastructure for many government programmes. Their existence is often directly proportional to the under-development of any society. One of the most common criticisms NGOs face is on accountability and transparency, perhaps because as soon as one declares an intention to set up an NGO, he is expected to be no less than devoid of all desires in life and is supposed to do good and only good. Read more
Zuckerberg, Facebook, Internet.org and Indian villages
What is the relationship between a typical Indian village, Facebook, Internet.org and Mark Zuckerberg? It was 10 October, last month, that Zuckerberg visited an unheard of village called Chandauli in Umrain block of Alwar district in Rajasthan. The visit was not incidental nor was accidental. It had been planned more than a month in advance with the coordination of Facebook's offices. The brief was very clear from our friends at Facebook in Delhi: "Mark wants to see, meet and experience a rural community resource centre which would be equipped with digital tools including Internet connectivity and the impact." Read more
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/DEFIndia
OnePlus to launch handset in India, partners Amazon
After Xiaomi and Oppo, another Chinese handset maker OnePlus is now gearing up to launch its product in India on 2 December. OnePlus has partnered e-commerce firm Amazon to launch its 'One' in the country. Though the pricing is yet to be divulged. Read more
Twitter to boost online voting and video with new tools
"You'll see us continue to innovate and get more voices on the platform," Katie Jacobs Stanton, the San Francisco-based company's vice-president for global media and head of international strategy, told HT in an interview last weekend at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. Read more
वडोज 10: दस का दम
एप्पल ने आईओएस 8 का प्रदर्शन कर दिया था और गूगल ने भी एंडराॅयड एल संस्करण की जानकारी दे दी थी। अब बारी थी माइक्रोसाॅफ्ट (Microsoft) की। काॅर्पोरेट जगत से लेकर आम उपभोक्ता तक सभी नजरें गड़ाए हुए थे कि कंपनी इस बार क्या नया करने वाली है। इससे पहले माइक्रोसाॅफ्ट विंडोज 8 और विंडोज 8.1 का प्रदर्शन कर चुकी थी जो अपने पुराने संस्करण से काफी अलग था। Read more
Xiaomi Redmi Note and Note 4G launched in India starting from Rs. 8999
Xiaomi has announced the launch of the Redmi Note and the Redmi Note 4G variant in India. The handsets are priced at Rs. 8999 and Rs. 9999 respectively. As expected, the devices would be available exclusively on Flipkart from December 2. Read more
Google launches ad-free net experiment
Dubbed Contributor, users can pay a monthly fee of between $1 to $3 for ad-free sites. When those who have paid their subscriptions visit a participating site they will see pixelated patterns replacing the adverts.It has so far signed up a handful of websites, including ScienceDaily and Urban Dictionary, to test the system.Read more
Airtel starts charging for VoIP data on 2G and 3G, calls on Viber and Skype not to be covered by data packs
This Christmas may not be much of a delight for Airtel subscribers. In an unprecedented move, Bharti Airtel has started charging standard data rates for VoIP data usage on all Internet data packs and plans. As per the new data policy. Read more
India to overtake US in smartphones by 2016
India will overtake the US as the second largest market for smartphones in the world by 2016 as smart mobile devices become affordable, global research firm eMarketer said Monday.“India will exceed 200 million smartphone users, topping the US as the world’s second largest smartphone market by 2016. Read more
Why thinking digital is equal to thinking vernacular
Every marketer and ad agency knows that in order to engage with a mass Indian audience ads need to be translated into local languages. At least seven languages form a part of a pan-Indian media plan – Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada – and more, if specific states become important to a brand’s.Read more
Sony case underlines cyber security needs for India
Hollywood, the glamorous film industry of the world’s biggest votary of free speech, the US, has withheld the release of “The Interview” after threats linked to North Korean hackers upset over the comedy built around the assassination of its leader, Kim Jong-un.Read more
As many as 6 pc people worldwide addicted to internet
As many as 6 per cent people in the world are addicted to the internet which may be adversely affecting their lives, including their health and interpersonal relationships, according to a new global study which included data from India.Read more
Gram project of Digital Empowerment Foundation was aired recently.
As the Modi government completes 6 months in office, CNBC Awaaz looks at the implementation of the PM's ambitious Digital India project. Ground report by Dheeraj Agrawal. Read more
Finally, Vividh Bharati is available on your cellphone
Channel head Rupali Kulkarni was not available for comment. A technical officer eagerly asked if the quality of transmission was good, and was pleased to hear that it was. Listeners have awaited this move since decades given that Vividh Bharati's traditional transmission over medium wave. Read more
ऑनलाइन देख पाएंगे अंतिम संस्कार
पुणे में एक ऐसी योजना शुरू की गई है, जिससे लोग अपने निकट संबंधियों के अंतिम संस्कार का सीधा प्रसारण देख पाएंगे. विदेशों एवं दूर-दराज के गांवों में रहने वाले इसकी मदद से अपने परिजनों के अंतिम संस्कार में परोक्ष रूप से ही सही लेकिन भाग ले पाएंगे.पुणे की गैरसरकारी संस्था 'निनाद' और पुणे नगर निगम के सहयोग से इसकी शुरुआत हुई और इस उपक्रम का नाम है 'रज्जूचक्षु'. Read more
फेसबुक-ट्विटर से जुड़ेंगे गाँव के स्कूल
अब अगर कोई स्कूल देर से खुला या मास्टर साहब देर से पढ़ाने पहुंचे तो इसकी सूचना शिक्षा विभाग के अफसरों को तुरंत ही मिल सकेगी। क्योंकि छात्र इसकी सूचना फेसबुक या ट्विटर के ज़रिए विभागीय अधिकारियों तक पहुंचा सकते हैं। प्रदेश के सभी माध्यमिक स्कूल-कॉलेजों को फेसबुक और ट्विटर से जोड़ा जाएगा। इसके बाद माध्यमिक शिक्षा विभाग की सूचनाएं Read more
11 Amazing Apps That Are Using Mobile Phone For Social Good
Nothing has taken the country by storm as much as the mobile phone. With over 900 million mobile devices in use at present, 377 million of which are in rural India, the mobile industry is posting a staggering growth of 43.23% annually. Read more
All 60 City Police Stations are now on Facebook
You need not go to your nearest police station to report a public nuisance anymore, if you are a resident of Hyderabad. Now, you can post, may be a document, photograph or a video on the official facebook page of the respective police station. However, do not expect police to take that as an official complaint yet.Read more
Facebook sees further decline in usage among teenagers in 2014
A report on Friday by Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. found that the portion of 13-17-year-old social-media users in the US on Facebook slipped to 88% this year from 94% in 2013 and 95% in 2012. In the same period, Twitter Inc.Read more
Government to roll out Wi-Fi in 25 cities by June 2015
Government has plans to empanel 3-4 Wi-Fi service provider for speedy roll out of Wi-Fi hotspots across top 25 cities in the country by June 2015. The services will be available at select public places within these cities," according to an official source.The project is part of Digital India programme under which the government.Read more
0% of the world is still without internet
In the relatively short amount of time since its invention, the internet has become a dominant force in our lives, and be it through our smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs, speaker systems watches or other devices we make use of it in some cases.Read more
Introducing OnGood from Public Interest Registry
As an online tool helping to garner greater visibility and raise funds for nonprofits and NGOs worldwide, OnGood embodies the spirit of Public Interest Registry and the organisation’s continued commitment to empowering nonprofits and NGOs.Read more
Stay connected with us
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.
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