Cover Story
Every drop counts – DEF’s first crowdfunding campaign is now LIVE!
We need your support! Ocean in a Drop is a feature-length film that describes the impact the Internet is having on India’s rural & tribal communities. It captures a silent revolution — governments aren’t being overthrown, something more long term & subtle is emerging. Cultures are being archived, caste traditions are being diluted and women are being empowered. In Mungaska village of Rajasthan, all it took was the arrival of one laptop and the internet connection to embolden women there to stand up to domestic violence. This is a film about the entrepreneurs, community leaders, young people and children who are making these changes happen — India's own internet avant garde. So much more is happening that will simply melt your heart.
A collaboration between Andrew Garton’s Secession/Films and Digital Empowerment Foundation, the film has been shot across 14 villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Bihar. More than 100 hours of footage has been translated and edited into a rough cut. We now need your support for the post-production stage.
Join us in this endeavour to back our vision for Ocean in a Drop on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform we’ve chosen for this cause. Click here to be directed to our campaign page, where you can show your support for our film with contributions as small as $10 or Rs. 656.
With this launch in campaign, we’re bringing out a special newsletter this month. As we celebrate the trailer of Ocean in a Drop, this month’s newsletter, as you can see, if an all-video newsletter. Hope you enjoy going through it.
Access & Infrastructure

Access is my right

‘Access is my Right’ is a short film about life in Guna, Madhya Pradesh. Guna is one of the most backward districts of India; and many living in this area suffer from non-availability of information or any kind of media. This film explores the lives of people living in complete information darkness in such unconnected regions of the country; and how the scenario can change for the better once people are given access to infrastructure to access this information on their own. Guna houses one of DEF’s 170+ CIRCs.

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Tribals, nomads and bonded labourers of Rajasthan are discovering a ray of hope for themselves through access to information.
Community Information Resource Centres (CIRCs) act as a one-stop hub for digital literacy, access to information and government services.
Thanks to Baank-e-Loom, weavers of a remote village called Saidanpur now have access to computers, training, the Internet and information.
Henvalvani Community Radio has been a trailblazer in creating awareness about various social, economic and health issues in Tehri region.
Education & Empowerment

I love to study and play

Yash Yadav was inspired to learn computers after he saw his sister working on a laptop. He now visits the CIRC daily to study and play games. Community Information Resource Centres (CIRCs) across 22 states of India act as one-stop hubs for people to get access to digital literacy training; infrastructure to go online; knowledge on how to find relevant information; and government schemes and entitlements. However, this is not what CIRCs are restricted to. Children come to play games online, women look up recipes; musicians upload their songs on YouTube and so much more.

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Karat Chale, Badhat Chale' is the Foundation's unofficial slogan that reflects its vision, mission and efforts across villages in India.
In an effort to re-popularise public libraries of UP, computer labs have been established and librarians trained in digital literacy.
Higher education became a reality for Ajay when he received help in plenty through a Facebook-based crowdfunding campaign.
Lack of finances could not keep Rozy away from quality computer education. CIRC ensured she had the education of her choice.
Governance & Citizen Services

Soochna Mera Haq Hai

This Soochna Seva campaign song aims at creating awareness among rural communities about their right to information. Soochna Seva was initiated to strengthen the RTI Act and to address the larger issues of poverty, development, social exclusion and inequity of marginalised groups through information empowerment. Soochna Seva Kendras offer integrated information services and access to citizen entitlements in Tehri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), Guna (Madhya Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Barmer (Rajasthan) and West Champaran (Bihar).

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A campaign song aimed at encouraging rural and remote communities to adapt digital in life to access information and enable better livelihood.
Red Rickshaw Revolution aims to celebrate the achievements of ordinary women doing extraordinory work across the country.
Digital Panchayat is an effort to make India's almost 2.5 lakh panchayats ICT enabled to improve governance at the grassroots level.
Mee Seva, an initiative of the Andhra Pradesh government, empowers the public by offering them services at the touch of a button.
Knowledge Hub & Network

Breaking barriers of language

The online space is expanding and it is brutally democratic and open. Many feel that digital media are annihilating minority languages rather than allowing them to thrive but it cannot be denied that digital media are an effective tool to preserve, revitalise and spread culture globally. If a language is to be upheld digitally, all it takes is a device to be able to view, connect and share. At the LangDev Conference 2016, DEF Founder-Director Osama Manzar threw light on how the Internet is breaking language barriers for millions.

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It wasn't easy picking the winners for the recently concluded mBillionth Awards. Celebrated Jurors had the task of picking only the best.
The eNGO Challenge, since 2009, has been recognising NGOs that use ICT and digital tools for empowering India's grassroots communities.
For the last 13 years, Manthan Awards has been felicitating the best of ICT and digital tools for development across South Asia.
In this archival video from TedX Gurgaon 2010, DEF Founder-Director Osama Manzar shares his interesting and inspirational life journey.
Markets & Social Enterprise

Digital transformation of Ikat weavers

This film explores the lives of traditional Ikat weavers of in Odisha before and after they were introduced to digital literacy and access to information. These clusters are known for weaving sarees in cotton, silk and tussar. Project DigiKala, under DEF’s Digital Cluster Development Programme, has introduced inclusive and decentralised use of ICT and other digital tools in critical aspects of handloom cluster development to improve and scale up weaving skills, designs, marketing and entrepreneurship, besides creating sustainable livelihood options for the youth.

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A grassroots innovator, Priya Muthukumar uses the medium of story-telling for the preservation of our societies and environment.
The film throws light on how techonology has helped Chanderi weavers to improve and scale up weaving skills, designs and market outreach.
Delhi Karavaan Founder Asif Dehlvi talks about the links between tehzeeb, poetry, courtesans and 'baanke' at an eHeritage Walk.
eNGO converts grassroots NGOs into validated entities, showcasing their various achievements to the world and raise funds globally.
Research & Advocacy

Last Mile Connectivity

‘Digitally Enabled’ is a five-part video series that highlight the role of the Internet and digital tools in our daily lives to bridge the knowledge gap between policy-makers and end-users‎. ‘Last Mile Connectivity’ is the first in this series; and explores the need for and advantage of access to the Internet in not just urban but rural and remote locations of India too. The film reflects the changes that are taking place in a village called Nichlagarh in Rajasthan ever since the community was enabled with wireless Internet connectivity and access to computers.

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The film focuses on the significance of revoking Section 66 (A) of the IT Act and its impact on Freedom of Expression Online.
Power to Connect deals with social media as an effective tool towards awareness, activism, advocacy, outreach and mobilisation for a cause.
Neerjaal is helping create a strong evidence-based system for the identification, mapping and codification of water sources and its quality.
'Internet Rights' addresses a digital citizen's rights online and the need for seamless access to connectivity and information.
Data & Analysis
About Us

With the motto of 'Inform, Communicate and Empower,' Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) started its journey in the month of December, 2002. Based out of New Delhi and registered as not-for-profit under the "Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, the effort at DEF has been to find sustainable Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions including digital and new media to address digital divide in under-served and unreached regions and communities. With a non-political approach, it was founded to contribute to an enabling social and economic order in India as well as in developing societies with the need based support of ICT tools and means. With ground work since 2003, DEF has reached over 22 States and 8 countries.

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New Delhi – 110016
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