By Digital Empowerment foundation
Published on: May 15, 2023
Digital Sarthak is a program that is designed to train women entrepreneurs across India to use digital tools like smartphones to improve their livelihood by teaching effective digital ways of integrating their business to have a better reach and management.
Vidhya Yadav, who resides in Alwar, Rajasthan and originally from Morodkla Reni, has been working with DEF for the past five years. She actively participates in various projects and recently worked as a Digital Sarthak. Through this work, she received digital assets and learned about digital technologies. Prior to this, she had little knowledge about mobile phones and online payments. Being part of the project, she helped introduce these technologies to small women entrepreneurs in her village, who were previously unfamiliar with them. Today, these women are successfully using their phones for online shopping and payments, saving time and money. Vidhya is thrilled to have been a part of this project and is pleased to see the positive impact it has had on her community. She believes that this work has great potential to help women in other communities as well.
Manju is one of the Women Entrepreneurs from Alwar, Rajasthan who has been trained by Vidhya. She shares about her journey, “I believe that I am a wise woman from my town as I am doing something that all the other women in the village are not doing. They are continuing to live like they used to 10 years ago. They are doing the same things that their mothers used to do when they were young. But I am different as I am educated. Educated in using this wonderous thing called the smartphone. I have been constantly asking around within the DEF program and my mentor for the different things that I can do on my phone. Since I learnt that there could be a lot of other things that I could do except just communicating I have been in awe of it. I never knew it was so easy. DEF has helped me find my own shortcomings and put them out of existence.
I have been studying sewing in order to master it since the last 3 years. But it didn’t encourage me enough as there was no tangible output from it at the end of the day. I would sit on the machine and toil away for as long as another duty came up and my presence was needed. Something was very intuitive as I had seen other people also sew and I could make some techniques out on my own. The use of the phone greatly helped me in actually studying in detail as to how I could make the same patterns. Even some of my old sewing methods were strengthened using a phone to get an in depth knowledge on the technique. This last year though has been the most special of all. I have completely shifted my mind to sewing. Household tasks such as cooking food, cleaning around, etc. have been scarce for me lately as my family usually delegates these tasks among themselves in order to keep my schedule free. I have been selling my creations on Facebook Marketplace and learning about the social media site altogether in that way.
Finding the balance was the hardest thing in all the process but I have now been able to achieve it since my day can accommodate more hours due to my family’s support. I sometimes remember Vidya Chachi as she used to have a great outlook on life. She also liked to sew. She used to tell me that change is necessary for the world to move. And I changed along with my family. Changing is the way of life which is something that I have realised and I am constantly changing, always ready to embrace the new wave.”