We arrived in Bundi, Rajasthan, which is a historical town known for its forts, palaces and step-wells, to film with NGO Srijan, one of our winners in Mobile for Good (M4G) Awards, 2014.
Farmers around Bundi were struggling from depleting yield. Srijan formed in 2008, began working with 50 farmers to start with and introduced them to package of best practices in farming so that they could double their yield. It gave the farmers immense confidence. Thereafter, Srijan decided to scale up their initiative.
To scale-up their operation, Srijan adopted multi-disciplinary approach. They trained women to be Krishi Sakhis or Service Providers in the villages, because most of the work in farms is carried out by the women. Then they collaborated with CropIn, which assists in collecting data in agriculture with the help of technology. So Krishi Sakhis were provided with smartphones with CropIn app installed in it. Krishi Sakhis would educate the villagers in productivity enhancement techniques and collect data. Initially the data was collected and then brought to the center for analysis. This process took over a month till the data could be analyzed for further use. But now with the assistance of CropIn, data is received at the center for analysis instantly, which has reduced the time frame drastically. There are around 55 Krishi Sakhis operating in the area, and each Krishi Sakhi manages 30-40 families. In 2014, Srijan was able to expand their reach to 15000 farmers. They aim to scale up the project to one lakh families in the coming years.
From one historical town to another; we travelled to Gwalior to film with another winner, OpAsha, who won Mobile for Good (M4G) Awards, 2014, for their e-detection app.
OpAsha works towards delivering health services to the people living below poverty line, and they provide tuberculosis medication to a large extent. As a part of their initiative one of the major problems they were facing was that they couldn’t identify people infected with tuberculosis on time. And when identification of infected people doesn’t happen on time, they infect even more people taking the spread of disease to a large proportion. So to nip the menace in the bud, they created an e-detection app.
In an area where a large population is staying in close proximity, OpAsha has centers. However, in a diverse area where they have to cater to people living far and wide, it is very difficult to facilitate them through one center. So in such areas, OpAsha is using Mobile Providers to reach out to people. Mobile Providers are people who travel far and wide on their motorcycles armed with a bag pack consisting of medicines and a computer tablet. They visit various households and ask people a set of questions. All the answers are fed straight into the tablet installed with an e-detection app. If the Mobile Provider identifies a suspect, then he takes his or her sputum sample and takes it to the nearest center for further analysis. And if the person is found to be infected then immediate measures are undertaken to prevent it from getting worse.
So with the intervention of technology, OpAsha has been able to identify and curb the spread of tuberculosis effectively.