Seven years later, on the 16th of December 2002, the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) was established to connect and empower India’s one billion plus people, taking the first step in the country’s digital development story. At the time, most Indians did not have access to information, education, and opportunities.
“Chal chal, saanp seedi khelte hain (come come let’s play snakes and ladders)” said Saleem (name changed), an 8-year-old to his friend. They both proceeded to the Makerspace stall of the Digital Empowerment Foundation. Pankaj, DEF’s project officer for the makerspace project, was surrounded by 15 children, all expressing their excitement over the activities he was curating for them.