Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) has been working towards empowering marginalized communities in information dark regions for over 18 years. With the aim of serving the community amid the pandemic, DEF launched the Covid-19 Digital Emergency Relief Program (C-DERP), an ICT-enabled, community specific programme through virtual community and service facilitation.
It has enabled 600+ digital information resource centers and over 10,000 foot soldiers across 23 states and union territories in the fight against covid-19 in rural India.
DEF’s Covid-19 Relief Warriors, as we like to call them, are working tirelessly across many backward and rural areas to help build community engagement and trust. They have delivered food relief kits, provided access to essential information on banking services and government schemes and other digital services. They have further helped raise awareness about Covid-19, enabled women entrepreneurs through making and distributing masks, hand sanitizers and tackling misinformation and fake news, thereby creating a huge impact on the community.
Each week, we will share the change DEF’s Relief Warriors and Digital Foot Soldiers are making on the ground. Their hard work, motivation and will to help the vulnerable during the ongoing crisis have made community relations stronger than before.
The Covid-19 pandemic has unimaginably affected social, economic, institutional and governance setting. With no vaccine, populations across the globe have been forced to live under a lockdown situation since a little over two months, putting cultural and political systems under immense stress.
While the impact of Covid-19 is yet to be measured, in India, low income groups like migrant laborers, population under BPL, rural communities, informal and unorganized sector and small businesses have been hit the hardest.
As the government and the country’s crisis management network assess the situation, lifting of some lockdown restrictions are probable. However, the covid crisis has led the physical network to a halt which has changed the way of community interaction for income generation activities and social networking, forever.
Digital access, online platforms, solutions and networks have now become paramount in the functioning of the economy due to their potential to act as a support mechanism amid the healthcare crisis.
DEF’s relief program, C-DERP, aims to aid and extend support to communities across 600+ locations in:
- Public Schemes, Welfare Measure Information, Entitlement, Facilitation and Delivery
- Tele-health & Tele-medicine
- Internet Access
- Alternate livelihood opportunities
- Consultation and Counseling
It can be a sustainable solution to some major issues faced by the population amid the ongoing pandemic. It targets four main problems:
- Lack of physical and mental health awareness
- Tacking misinformation and fake news
- Lack of information, guidance and facilitation related to public entitlements and resources
- Livelihood and income strains and access to opportunities
The program aims to reach over 60,000 households and 3,00,000 individuals with support and aid.
- Smartput story HL – rCommunity First: Smartpur Relief Warriors step up amid Covid Crisis
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- DEF Dialogue –
- Smartpur – Not all superheroes wear a cape, some stitch masks