DEF Log

Smartpur Refresher Training 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced everything to go online and this has restricted the movement of people in the workplace and offline workshops and training have been put to a halt. The Smartpur team has not been able

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Empowering People at the Edge of Information

Digital Empowerment Foundation has been working towards connecting the unconnected and bridging the digital divide for the last 20 years and this endeavour has taken us to over 135 districts of the country across

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Kahwa Seller Starts a Floating School

“Those who don’t have education behind them don’t have anything” said Mushtaq Hussain, a resident of Tinda Mohalla, Dal Lake. Dal Lake has several small islands that are home to nearly 100,000 people;

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Digital Jugaad

“What is this?” I asked, looking at a feature phone hanging next to the man sitting in a meat shop. He said “it’s a radio; earlier this was my phone but as you know, lately these phones are of no use, so now it is my radio.”

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Analogous Cab Service

“There is no Ola or Uber here sir, try to book through Jugnoo” said Naseer, our host in Srinagar. We decided to book a homestay instead of a hotel for our stay because we had gone during the peak of the season and none

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Creating Information Hubs in Tea Gardens

Assam has been providing India and the rest of the world with high quality tea for the last 150 years now. Any visitor going to Assam will experience the aroma and savour the unique malty flavour of Assam tea.

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Tomorrow they will disappear

Disappearing acts are quite popular among the magicians, but when the act is heading towards becoming quite literal, threatening an end to the long standing art form among street performers, they go looking

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The Digital Past and the Future

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.

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Seeking Refuge Under Digital Literacy

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

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Empowering Smart and Service Oriented Women

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

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20 Years of Digital Empowerment

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

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A Mentorship Ecosystem to Create Community Leaders

“If I don’t understand something I just ask Sushma and without hesitating she comes immediately and helps me” said Anita Kumari, a Samarth SoochnaPreneur (SSP) from the village of Beyang in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.

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Don’t Ring the Alarm Bells

Parwada in Visakhapatnam is an industrial area; consequently, talks of industrial safety measures and fire hazards are frequent among its inhabitants. Ever since a fire broke out last year and claimed eleven lives

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Enriching Empirical Visit to Nuh

I have been travelling to Smartpur’s locations across the ten districts in India and this is a travelogue of my journey to the district of Nuh, Haryana where there are 10 Smartpur centres. Having connected with the district

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Digital Development in Nuh

On 11th Feb, 2022 I got an opportunity to visit the Smartpur centre in Nuh. The primary vision of the program is to empower marginalised communities in information dark regions to access, consume

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Country-wide Women’s Day Celebrations

On the occasion of International Women’s day, Kaithwalya Hub Centre in Ghazipur district held an elaborate celebration to commemorate its women participants and its students for their outstanding contributions.

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Ramadevi: A COVID Warrior

Early that morning around 8 am we started from Pondicherry to visit our RCCE (Risk Communication Community Engagement) volunteers in Chennai. As we didn’t know the exact location, Sindhu

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COVID Warriors in Uttar Pradesh

At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, nobody could have foreseen how long it would last, how quickly it would spread, and how many lives it would claim. Two years have passed and in 2022,

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The Blessing Gypsies of Chennai

It is not uncommon to associate big cities with the ideas of ever increasing employment opportunities and a sense of freedom that the young seek and a notion of security and comfort sought by the old.

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Arun Kumar: Digital COVID Warrior & Social Worker

“These kids don’t have access to digital devices, I have been trying to support these 8 families here by raising funds with my friends to distribute food to them every couple of weeks but I don’t know how to support

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“Hotspots” are the Unconnected People

The “3rd WiFi India Virtual Summit” was organized by Broadband India Forum (BIF) on 22nd January, 2022. Following the decision by the Union Cabinet which approved the setting up of public WiFi networks across India

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Internet for All, but Privacy for Me

“Digital Rights Explored: Local Rights, Global Perspective”, is a podcast series hosted by Media and Information Literacy Expert Network (MILEN) which revolves around some case studies of violations of digital rights across

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Jawabdehi Yatra: A Personal Travelogue

This travelog is about traveling by road, day and night, with people to publicly talk to the government in Rajasthan about the meaning of daily harassment of basic rights of the masses because of the non performance,

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Promoting Community Driven Policies

Digital Empowerment Foundation’s journey of 19 years, since 2002, has shown how they have taken a community driven approach in all of their policies. All along, they also advised several wings of the government to formulate

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How Free is the Media?

Despite being considered a cornerstone of democracies, media, has also played an active role in stoking ethnic killings, and genocide. Indian media is mirroring behavioural patterns under the garb of freedom of speech by

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Osama Manzar and Digital Empowerment Foundation

It’s interesting that we must share and narrate this story with so many friends throughout time. It is hard to begin with describing who I am, especially when there has been an evolution of thinking and applying and a growth of consciousness over time.

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Making Villages Smart

Jakhopur is a small village near Tijara. As one enters the village one can often be welcomed by camels with a cart tied to them navigating through the narrow lanes of the village. The narrow lanes meet at an intersection where a group of men can be seen sitting and chatting.

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Creating Community Leaders in Barabanki

Digital Empowerment Foundation has been working in the district of Barabanki for the last seven years. With one hub center in the village of Saidanpur, DEF has expanded to 60 villages in the district through their entrepreneurs.

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COVID-19: Stories from Ground

The second wave of Covid-19 has shattered the healthcare system, which was already wounded since the first wave brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation on the ground is rapidly changing in terms of the rising number of cases, lockdown…

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The Real Benefits of Digital Development?

When people successfully become adept at Twitter, it can help them to make connections with people they would not have otherwise encountered, and strengthen existing relationships by encouraging conversation that is likely to be topical and interesting to others.

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Digital Shot in Indian Women Cricket’s Arm

Cricket in India is a religion as it is repeatedly said by commentators, experts and fans. Indian men’s cricket team boasts of the biggest fan support in the world and thus enables Indian cricket board…

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Whatsapp

WhatsApp temporarily stores the media and messages of its users on its servers and this is done to increase the efficiency of delivery of additional forwarded messages.

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PM-WANI

Ericsson, in its Mobility Report for June 2020 states that in the year 2019, Indians have used about 12 GB data per month on an average which is the highest consumption…

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Wireless for Unconnected

Thirty years since the invention of Internet there are still regions without any connectivity. There are still villages that don’t know about Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram…

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2020 An Year of Ed-Tech

The year 2020 is coming to an end, fore most part of the year many of us stayed locked inside our houses and tried avoiding social gatherings as much as possible. Educational Institutions and offices all were forced to close down.

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The Social Dilemma 2020

The Social Dilemma is an American docudrama movie directed by Emmy Award winning director Jeff Orlowski. The movie talks about the rising impact of the social media applications on human lives…

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Blurring boundaries with Social media

With all its pros and cons, social media has been proved to be successful in creating a democratic space in terms of giving platform to people from all walks of life, often blurring the boundaries of what is explored below the rural and urban divide…

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Red Carpet Goes Online

Have you ever been part of an award night? No, Neither I. I never really got to attend those Sahara Awards that my father used to get passes for. But who knew that All That Jazz of the award gala night would become thing of past?…

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Digital Citizen- Strive for Human Peace

Every human being is an ensemble of multiple pieces of unique information and data points, almost like a machine. The human civilisation has always attempted to discover itself, and the ‘machine’ like tendencies and processes that make up an individual.

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Social Divide Persists Digital Divide

Social stigma, cultural differences, linguistic diversity, traditional practices, localised community believes & practices — all of them are hallmarks of India. In the middle of deep social & traditional practices…

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The New Language of Symbols

The digital revolution, especially the rise and pervasiveness of mobiles and smart phones powered by apps, have given new meaning to communication across ethnic and linguistic diversity .

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The Impact of Covid-19 on the weavers of Musiri

About five kilometres from Tamil Nadu’s Musiri, a famous weaver cluster, is a small village in the district of Trichy called Manamedu. At its heart is a computer centre equipped with everything required to digitally enable the community’s weavers.

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Laxmi’s journey from tailor to Covid Warrior

The Covid-19 crisis is expected to have a lasting economic effect on many low-income communities across the country, especially in rural India. The lockdown led to a halt in the main source of livelihood for many families in villages, making survival tough…

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कोविड-19 के लॉकडाउन के कारण दिल्ली के प्रवासी कामगारों को न तो नौकरी है और न ही सामाजिक सुरक्षा; विशेषज्ञ कानूनी संरक्षण और राजनीतिक उदासीनता को ज़िम्मेदार मानते हैं.

बिहार के आरा जिले के ललन यादव दिल्ली के वज़ीरपुर में मछली मोहल्ले में रहते हैं. ललन को कोरोना से अधिक रोज़गार की चिंता सता रही है. वह कहते हैं, “हमलोग मज़दूर आदमी कमायेंगे नहीं तो परिवार खायेगा क्या. मैं अपने घर में अकेला कमाने वाला हूँ. मार्च से काम नहीं मिला है.

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कोरोना महामारी के समय दिल्ली के पंजीकृत निर्माण मजदूरों को नहीं मिल पा रहा सरकारी योजनाओं का लाभ

दिल्ली के इंदिरा विकास कॉलोनी में रहने वाले 32 वर्षीय प्रमोद दास लॉकडाउन की बढ़ती अवधि से चिंतित हैं। प्रमोद निर्माण के क्षेत्र में दिहाड़ी-मज़दूरी करते हैं। वह कहते हैं, “पहले तो प्रदूषण के कारण काम बंद रहा। अब कोरोना वायरस के कारण काम मिलना बंद हो गया है। हम लोग दिहाड़ी-मज़दूरी करते हैं, काम नहीं मिलेगा तो कहां से खाएंगे?”

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सरकारी गोदाम में सड़ रहा अनाज: राशन कार्ड नहीं होने के कारण भूखे सोने पर मज़बूर है करोड़ों परिवार

बिहार के पश्चिमी चंपारण के पचकहर गांव की 35 वर्षीय मनीषा देवी को राशन कार्ड में संशोधन के लिए आवेदन दिए हुए इस महीने की 27 तारीख को पूरे दो वर्ष हो जायेंगे, उन्हें अपने राशन कार्ड का अब तक इंतज़ार है. मनीषा कहती हैं, “राशन कार्ड के लिए चक्कर लगा-लगा कर थक गयी, अब तक राशन कार्ड बन कर नहीं आया”.

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समाज में बढ़ती हिंसा, सोशल मीडिया और दुष्प्रचार: क़ानूनी प्रतिक्रिया और समस्या (भाग पांच)

लिंचिंग जैसी घटनाएं रुकने का नाम नहीं ले रहीं हैं. आये दिन कहीं न कहीं भीड़ किसी को भी पकड़ कर हत्या कर दे रही है. 16 अप्रैल, 2020 को भीड़ ने महाराष्ट्र के पालघर में 2 साधु समेत उनके ड्राइवर की पीट-पीट कर हत्या कर दी. शुरुआती ख़बरों के अनुसार इलाके में बच्चा चोरी की अफ़वाह गर्म थी.

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समाज में बढ़ती हिंसा, सोशल मीडिया और दुष्प्रचार: क़ानूनी प्रतिक्रिया और अभिव्यक्ति की स्वतंत्रता (चौथा भाग)

“मर्ज़ कहीं और है दवा कहीं और ढूंढ रही है सरकार,” यह बात रिहाई मंच के सचिव राजीव यादव ने आईटी एक्ट, 2000 में इंटरमेडियरी के दिशा-निर्देशों में सरकार के द्वारा किये जा रहे रहे बदलाव के संदर्भ में कही. राजीव आगे कहते हैं, “लिंचिंग के लिए फेक न्यूज़ और सोशल मीडिया से कहीं अधिक ज़िम्मेदार राजनीतिक वातावरण है.

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समाज में बढ़ती हिंसा, सोशल मीडिया और फेक न्यूज़: क़ानूनी प्रतिक्रिया और प्रेस की स्वतंत्रता (तीसरा भाग)

निष्पक्ष पत्रकारिता किसी भी लोकतंत्र के फलने-फूलने के लिए महत्तपूर्ण है. हाल के दिनों में ये देखा जा रहा है कि अधिकतर पत्रकार सत्ता पक्ष का शंख बजा रहे हैं. सत्ता पक्ष को छोड़ कर विपक्ष को कटघरे में खड़ा करने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं. सरकार के खिलाफ उठने वाली हर आवाज़ को देशविरोधी बता कर उन्हें दबाने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं.

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समाज में बढ़ती हिंसा, सोशल मीडिया और दुष्प्रचार: वास्तिविकता और क़ानूनी प्रतिक्रिया (दूसरा भाग)

भीड़ के द्वारा हो रही हत्याएं थमने का नाम नहीं ले रही हैं. आए-दिन कहीं न कहीं से हत्या की ख़बरें आती रहती हैं. कहीं गाय ले जा रहे किसी व्यक्ति को कोई भीड़ घेर कर हत्या कर देती है, तो कहीं बच्चा चोर के नाम पर किसी सड़क चलते व्यक्ति की भीड़ जान ले लेती है.

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लिंचिंग, सोशल मीडिया, फेक न्यूज़: कानूनी प्रतिक्रिया (पहला भाग)

इंटरनेट ने समाज को अलग-अलग ढंग से बदला है. इंटरनेट ने नए-नए सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफॉर्म को जन्म दिया. सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफॉर्म ने समाज के सबसे निचले तबके तक को एक आवाज़ दी, एक पहचान दी. सामाजिक परिवर्तन में यह एक अहम भूमिका निभा रहा है. सोशल मीडिया से शुरू हुए मीटू आंदोलन ने पूरी दुनिया को झकझोर दिया.

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Why Millions Of Indians Cannot Claim Emergency Food Rations

It has been more than two years since Manisha Devi, 35, applied for a correction in her ration card, the document that 814 million Indians officially classified as poor must have to get cheap food from the government. When she was single, Devi shared her name on the ration card with her father.

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Chronology of rumours and misinformation during Covid-19

The article tries to understand the chronology of events that started rumors, fake news and misinformation about COVID-19 that eventually managed to spread across the communities. It highlights the conditions that provide a fertile ground for rumors and the role that social media and word of mouth play in giving them unprecedented speed and reach.

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Curbing misinformation and fake news around Covid-19

An awareness program on Corona Virus was held at Kuruvimalai, Tamil Nadu, on March 14, 2020 under the Health pillar. Twenty Seven people were in attendance and was conducted by Roselin, the resource person for this program. The reason for conducting awareness camp…

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Internet Saathis stich masks to meet the immediate demand

With new cases reported every day, corona virus has disrupted the people’s life globally. The pandemic has had a major effect on the entire social and economic structure of the society. In India, limited healthcare resources like covid-kits, medicines, masks, PPEs among others is one of the major issues.

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Understanding Gravity of Coronavirus Pandemic in India?

It is about a month that the onset of Coronavirus or Covid-19 in India has become prominent. Described a rudimentary virus like any other normal cold, fever and chest congestion; its spread can be so fast and certain that the causalities both as sufferers and deaths can reach a very high proportion.

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Hungry, Broken, Bruised, Disappointed

Digital Empowerment Foundation’s team in Nuh works closely with the community through the Community Information Resource Center to cater to the various digital needs. In the time of Covid-19, they have been producing masks which we went to collect to distribute to those in need in Delhi.

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Stemming the wave of knowledge

“Come and sit!” That was the invitation Sharafat Ali made me, when I asked him what he had been learning in the past couple of weeks. The boy, who couldn’t have been older than twelve, kindly showed me a place to sit in his friends circle, while grabbing a couple of batteries and wires in his hands.

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How to bridge the gaping digital divide in India

Almost 27 years ago the World Wide Web rolled out the red carpet for the public without discrimination. Yet, today we stand here still talking about a digital divide that continues to exist, pushing people further into marginalisation, now more than ever before.

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Banking Services at Doorstep to Maintain Social Distancing

Abhinav Pandya is a SoochnaPreneur (Information Entrepreneur) from Guna, Madhya Pradesh. He has been working on the ground to ensure the community’s safety from the corona virus by delivering money to their homes from the schemes that the government has put in place for them.

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DEF’s SoochnaPreneurs of West Champaran at Forefronts of Covid-19 Crisis

Prabhu, a 29 year old digital entrepreneur has been working in the district of West Champaran, Bihar, as a DEF representative from the past few years. As a digitally equipped SoochnaPreneur (Information Entrepreneur) he has been diligently serving the people in his village Fachkahar by providing access to digital services and ensuring government entitlements.

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COVID-19 DEF Dialogues

Covid-19 DEFDialogue is a special series initiated by Digital Empowerment Foundation where the Founder & Director Osama Manzar connects with key individuals within the DEF network in 600 locations across 25 states.

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Livelihoods in the time of pandemic

As public health and safety measures like social distancing and lockdowns demonstrated agile responses like work from home for many of the urban milieu, a rapid assessment survey by Jan Sahas showedpaid wages.

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डिजिटल और कैशलेस इंडिया की अलग ही दुनिया

देश की राजधानी या यू कहे की शहरो में बैठ कर डिजिटल इंडिया, केशलेश इंडिया की कल्पना करना या सपना देखना माध्यम वर्ग और निति निर्माताओ के लिए सुखद अनुभव एवं सपना हो सकता है लेकिन दरअसल दूर दराज़ ग्रामीण इलाके

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The Idea of Change

I didn’t know where Deoria was when I first heard that I had to make a trip there. I was told that it is near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. When I shared with others that I’m going to Deoria,

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A travelogue from the Little Rann of Kutch

One has seen spellbinding visuals of the Little Rann of Kutch in the magazines and the Internet, but nothing prepares you for the experience, than actually being there. I arrived in Ahmedabad, and set off for Patdi,

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