On a mission to rake out the fake news

Conversations on the Internet, particularly social media, are often a reflection of the conversations that one has offline. However, online conversations come with the advantage of not being restricted to a small group of people physically present around you. The barriers of geography and time do not exist online. However, not everyone uses this opportunity for positive messaging. With rapidly growing Internet penetration, India already has more than 241 million users of Facebook alone (The Next Web Report, 2017). Read More

Building Smartpur
Smartpur is a rural entrepreneurship-based initiative to transform rural villages into digitally integrated holistic villages Read More
The Game of Fake News
Get Bad News makes you drop all pretense of ethics and choose the path of an unscrupulous media magnate Read More
Take a Break, Every Day
Apps are designed to force you to hit ‘refresh’ after ‘refresh’, keep you glued to your screens and make you spend hours on the device Read More
Can technology help revive artisanal textiles?
After a successful display at Lakme’s Sustainable Fashion Day in February, DEF returns for another showcase. Pairing three designers with handloom clusters across the country… Read More

Do you have the digital hunar we’re looking for?
We have an entrepreneur in each one of us, but not all of us find the right outlet or tools to nurture and nourish that zeal. To bridge this gap, Facebook and DEF have collaboratively launched, Digital Outreach and Skills Training (DOST) programme. The project that aims to instill digital marketing skills in 50,000 micro and nano entrepreneurs across five Indian tribal states — Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, is undergoing construction and will be deployed very soon. Digital Hunar Awards will serve as the end of the line, sweet reward that these entrepreneurs will stand eligible for, once having completed the training. Read More
DEFdialogue with Anwesh Sahoo
With the Supreme Court verdict on Section 377 still reverberating around us, DEF invited Mr. Anwesh Sahoo to serenade us with his empowering words as part of our DEFdialogue series. In its 7th edition, held on September 15, 2018, Anwesh spoke about art, expression, identity and the facades of internet like how the Internet has helped him reaffirm his identity, provide to his work and words – an audience and also helped him to connect people of diversity and power. DEFdialogue is a series of engaging conversations with individuals from different walks of life that provide DEF with a revived, revised and knowledgeable account of their experiences, take on world and expertise.
eNGO launches NGONAMA
eNGO Programme aims to digitally transform grassroots organisations through capacity building programmes aimed at improved outreach, quality content and sustainability. Over the years, it has built a strong network of over 5,000 NGOs across South Asia. In September, the programme successfully launched its first newsletter NGONAMA to share the stories of change. Simultaneously eNGO team will continue to organise digital capacity building workshops to improve the actual need of grassroots NGOs in content curation and train them in digital tools to leverage online donation and increase their global outreach. If you, want to share about your work, mail your articles at ngonama@defindia.org.
Astitva - Creating A Digital Ecosystem For Elders
Helpage India and DEF are jointly initiating a digital ecosystem for elderly citizens. The project called Astitva, launched in districts Nagapattinam and Virudhu Nagar, aims to install a hub centre and one spoke centre in each district. The hub centres are to provide necessary digital infrastructure along with furniture items. Following the establishment of the Nagapattinam hub centre, Training of Trainers (ToT) was undertaken. The trainers were specifically identified, who were part of the ASTITVA group in the region, so as to further conduct training of elders. The trainings were delivered on the lines of the curriculum developed by DEF for CIRC program. Read More
Creating entrepreneurship opportunities for communities in India
Baank-e-loom, under the ambit of DCDP, has till date, enrolled 1198 students in digital literacy curriculum out of which, 121 girls have successfully completed their tailoring and embroidery course, whereas over 100 homemakers and teenage girls have been digitally trained in computers. Baank-e-loom has digitally transformed around 280 people into entrepreneurs who are now working and further training in their respective fields. As an example, Bank-e-loom trained, tailoring students in Lucknow to reuse waste fabric and stitch them into stationary bags. These were further marketed to empower the girls. Read More
Digitalising Public Libraries
Encouraged by the outcome of the first SPLC 2018, the second edition of State Public Library Conference was organized on September 06-07, 2018 and focused on taking the discussion and deliberation forward in order to build an ecosystem in Telangana, where public libraries, seen as prime knowledge centres could develop and thrive with the help of technology and community support. Community is the key to revival of the libraries. Meaningful community participation will automatically pressurize the government to reverse their apathetic outlook towards libraries. For this to happen, some initiative also needs to come from the libraries.Read More
Building a force of women digital change-makers
Internet Saathi programme aims to train rural women to further provide digital and Internet literacy to other rural women and bring about a digital change. In September 2018, 472 Internet Saathis were trained through a workshop. The beneficiaries ranged from varied backgrounds of caste, economic status and educational qualifications and most of them were first-time digital users. Every Internet Saathi equipped with 2 smartphones targeted four villages, and travelled for six months from house-to house to train and impart literacy. The project was rolled out in two districts (Rajgarh & Chhatarpur) of Madhya Pradesh to cover 3 lakh rural women and girls (above 14yrs) between October 2018 and March 2019.
Jawab Do campaign: a call for community action and awareness
DEF Soochnapreneurs, equipped with digital support, traverse communities and ensure rural citizens are digitally empowered and, are mobilising the community around them through various initiates. One such is Jawab Do campaign under Suchna Evam Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan which helps document people’s suggestions to the government. The prime focus is to work towards transparency and a better accountability. Under the association of NGOs working in Rajasthan, of which DEF is a part, a meeting marked the beginning of the campaign on September 08, 2018. It highlighted the areas that needed urgent attention from the government such as health, education and agriculture sectors.
Hope restored
Kamlesh, living with her husband and mother-in-law in Khedi village of Alwar district, Rajasthan has for long seen grey days, marred by extreme poverty. The family survives on her husband’s meagre income which isn’t enough. Meanwhile, Kamlesh conceived and the prospect of an additional family member added extra financial burden on the family. While dealing with their plight, Kamlesh met SoochnaPreneur Manju. Listening to this, Manju took Kamlesh to Alwar and got her registered under Anchal Prasuti Yojana and within 10 days Kamlesh received her ration and iron folic acid tablets free of cost. Kamlesh’s hope was restored as she now looks forward for a healthy child and a happy future.
Third Digital Citizen Summit is underway
Preparations are underway for the third edition of Digital Citizen Summit, to be held on November 01 & 02, 2018 at India International Centre, New Delhi. Powered by DEF and the Internet Society (ISOC), key objective of the summit was to generate actionable policy-based recommendations to protect human rights online and proliferate access to the Internet. To register for the summit, click here. Apart from this, both DEF and ISOC are also organising the second Community Network Xchange on October 31, 2018 to develop a platform for community networks to work collaboratively for developing policy briefs and capacity building. Read More.

Sneak Peak into mBillionth Awards

Defdialogue with Anwesh Sahoo

START: A Digital Learning Toolkit

Bridging the divide: one step at a time
Mahesh Venkateswaran
Chief Growth Officer
While we are quite aware of the world of technology unicorns and celebrated entrepreneurs in the mainstream media, the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) has over the last decade and more, built a growing community that recognizes initiatives that capture the imagination of the unspoken many. DEF has been part of the journey of lakhs of people as they were exposed to the computer, the internet, the mobile device, etc. for the first time in their lives. The mBillionth 2018 awards jury exposed me to initiatives that brought together the government, private sector, technology entrepreneurs, civil society, reputed non-profits, and individuals in using the mobile device as a tool to address a wide variety of challenges. Read More
Is IoT the next big thing and are we ready for it?

We have become accustomed to digital technology, which has made our lives easier, more convenient and comfortable. Our smartphones, coffee machines, headphones, wearable devices, bluetooth trackers and smart door locks are already impacting and reshaping our daily lives, and we need to be prepared for various such innovations. Consider, for instance, what connected devices can do. Our alarm clock that rings at 5am will alert our coffee machine to start brewing coffee. On a broader note, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help improve the efficiency of things, thus refining the way we work and live. Read More

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Digital Empowerment Foundation aims to connect unreached and underserved communities of India to bring them out of digital darkness and empower them with information access through last mile connectivity, digital literacy and digital interventions. Established in 2002, with the motto to ‘Inform, Communicate and Empower,’ DEF aims to find sustainable ICT solutions to overcome information poverty in rural locations of India.

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