Last December, on the 20th foundation day of Digital Empowerment Foundation, a panel was organized to discuss “opportunities and challenges vis-a-vis digital development in the next 20 years” by CDPP and DEF. The panelists were Ramesh Loganathan, Professor at IIIT Hyderabad; Natasha Badhwar, Author, Storyteller & Volunteer at Karwan-e-Mohabbat; Meera Shenoy, Founder – Youth4Jobs; Manoj Bejawar, CEO at Synchroserve IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd.; and Anuradha Amudalapalli, Executive Partner, IBM Consulting
While some parts of the world complain about being spoiled for choice, it is heartening to see some other parts struggling to find a voice in a choiceless environment. Unfortunately, even the 21st century does not allow one to consider the availability of some of the basic human needs and rights granted let alone stand with a belief that they, like any other human being, deserve such basic attention.
For any project to see its full potential, community mobilization plays an integral role as the purpose of the schemes would not be served unless the beneficiaries are fully aware about their entitlements. As a part of community engagement, Digital Literacy for Women and Girls program, an initiative by Microsoft and DEF, a session was conducted at CIRC Jafrabad centre, Delhi.
Women empowerment plays a pivotal role in the overall development of any country besides positively impacting the day to day lives of women. The progressive change in the fields of employment and information technology have brought a wide range of opportunities for women in India and across the globe. The reforming development in mobile technology has brought world communities closer, narrowing the digital divide.
It seems like 20 years is a long journey. Someone asked me what after 20 years, I feel like changing the name to Digital Disempowerment Foundation. The job is certainly going to change. I would like to share here that the social sector or social entrepreneur journey looks very flashy on the screen or data sheets, which isn’t possible without investing your life in it. Every toilet looks clean, but you need to find out who keeps cleaning it before you go and use it.
Digital Telangana vis-a-vis the practical views of Digital Empowerment Foundation through 20 years of Journey
What is the government’s perspective on digitization? I am sure all of you are aware that our national government has launched a flagship program called “Digital India”. This was done 6 and a half years ago. Earlier to this, Telangana had a complex framework of the similar kind called “Digital Telangana”.
The digital services received through the Internet are both a communication channel and a marketplace. In a way, it can be called a global integrator. But the fruits of such services are not easily accessible to all. This unequal accessibility comes in terms of gender when women are not encouraged or taught to use digital services.