Introduction to DEF

How was India in 2002? Internet was just about seven years old in the country. Mobile was still struggling to achieve a big penetration; there were just 13 million mobile subscriptions in India. Service providers were facing the challenges of trying to min­imise the cost of per call rate to geometrically increase the volume of customers. None of the major Acts like the Right to Information (2005), the Right to Education (2009), the National Food Security Act (2013) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005) were in place yet. There were also just 82,409 fixed broadband subscriptions in India. Access to digital tools was limited and access to the Internet and the information it held was even low in the one billion-plus country. It was with this understanding and realisation that DEF was registered as a not-for-profit organisation under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860, to carry out this mission of empowering people digitally. Digital Empowerment Foundation is an integral digital action organisation. DEF constantly acts into creation of information empowerment, equitable communities by providing digital access to information, knowledge and contextual capacity.

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“Karat chale, badhat chale (keep working, keep growing)” is DEF’s motto. Working with communities across rural India DEF believes in empowering people by providing access to information using digital tools.


Apart from India, DEF now offers help to civil society organisations engaged in the field of ICTD in Africa, South Asia and the Asia Pacific region. Further, to strengthen the global community and become part of the global development fraternity for an empowered world, DEF is affiliated to the following associations, bilateral, multilateral agencies as institutional member: