Digikargha Studio celebrates Indigenous weavers

Established in 2002, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) aims to connect the unreached and underserved communities of India in an effort to bring them out of digital darkness and equip them with access to information, digital literacy, digital tools and last mile connectivity. Over the years, DEF has marked its presence in more than 500 locations across 100 districts of 23 Indian states. Eleven of these locations are handloom and handicraft clusters of India. On January 21, the first physical store of the DigiKargha Studio was opened in New Delhi. The store celebrates the handloom and handicraft artistes who are taking to digital tools and technologies to bring improvements in critical aspects of product development, especially designing, weaving, archiving, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The DigiKargha Studio is a platform to celebrate the #DigitalArtisans of India. Read More

Why Digital Literacy Must Go Hand in Hand With Online Security From The Start
As more people adopt digital tools and get online to harness opportunities the Internet has to offer, they become vulnerable to the vices of the Internet. Read More
How WhatsApp is battling misinfor-mation in India, where 'fake news is part of our culture'
WhatsApp has become a vehicle for mayhem and fake news in India, its biggest market. Read More
Rural Indians don’t trust messages on WhatsApp blindly: Survey
Almost 70 per cent of rural respondents rated their trust score for information on WhatsApp 5 or lower. Read More
What Does it Take to Build a Truly ‘Smart’ Village?
Mere availability of digital tools and internet connectivity does not make a village smart. Read More

Recognising social media superheroes
Social Media for Empowerment (SM4E) Awards is back for its sixth edition. Initiated by DEF in 2013 when we realised that social media could no longer be an awards category under Manthan Award, SM4E identifies, promotes, recognises and honours initiatives that leverage the power of social media for development and empowerment across six core categories from eight South Asian countries. The project also facilitates workshops in Tier II and III cities to strengthen civil society, community-based organisations, bureaucrats, youth, academicians and entrepreneurs in the effective use of social media. Nominations are open from February 10. Find out more about SM4E here.
MeraApp nominated for WSIS Prize
‘Information’ is the most dynamic tool, which propels empowerment of the underserved sections of the society. In partnership with Qualcomm, DEF initiated SoochnaPreneur project in 2016. Under this project, rural youth were identified as Information Entrepreneurs and equipped with an app called MeraApp to enable people in rural India to be empowered enough to access government entitlements and benefits. MeraApp has been shortlisted for World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Prize 2019 in Access to Information & Knowledge category.
Digital literacy helps a young woman go back to learning
Twenty-year-old Rinki Chouhan lives in a small house with a big family of ten where her father and brother, both daily wage workers, are the only earning members in the household. For a family of ten, the household income is mere Rs. 3000. Rinki is the first person in the house to complete her education up to Class XII. Both her older siblings, a sister and a brother, had to drop out of school after Class IX and Class X, respectively. Though Rinki completed her school, she could not go for further education due to the financial restrictions in the house. Read More
Creating holistically smarter villages
New year 2019 began with a new Smartpur centre establishment in Rajasthan. Alwar’s centre in Rajasthan is open for the nearby school students to access computer classes for building digital literacy. Later in the month, Republic Day was celebrated with great pomp and show at Bharatpur Hub centre, with village Ladamka’s children, adolescents and youth participating with full vigour. Further, Bharatpur centre’s first health camp was organised on January 29. The health camp was first not only for the centre but also for the village, with a high show of 152 villagers turning up for a general check-up. Read More
Republic Day celebration at CIRC
The 70th Republic Day of India was observed with great zeal at the school premise of Jauhar Academy in Jharkhand. After the flag hoisting, the school principal inaugurated the cultural programme where class IX students recited in Urdu and English poetry wherein others performed a number of dance and drama. Apart from this, a new plan for the farmers has been inaugurated by the state. Under the Chief Minister's scheme, the assistance amount of Rs. 5000 per acre for agriculture will be given to the farmers, following the awareness and facilitation efforts by SoochnaPreneurs in the region.
Enabling through digital literacy
Shweta Revale from Pune is a high school student who has always been fascinated with technology. She had some basic computer knowledge but could never find an opportunity to gain advanced knowledge until a neighbour informed her about the digital literacy classes offered by DEF at a local Community Information Resource Centre. Soon after she joined classes, she was eager to learn how to consciously use social media platforms, shop online on popular eCommerce platforms and making online bookings for services. "I can now even book my rail ticket online,” says Shweta.
Ensuring women's safety in the digital space
An initiative of Google and Tata Trusts, implemented by DEF in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, Internet Saathi’s digital livelihood programme aims to train rural women to further provide digital literacy to other rural women and bring about a digital change. Recently, two trainings were conducted in Patna (Bihar) and Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) on ‘Internet Safety & Security’. A total 1,550 Saathis from varied backgrounds of caste, economic status and educational qualifications—most of them first-time digital users—were trained to become aware of the safety and security measures they must take while maintaining an online presence.
Fighting Fake News
In light of the increasing vitality of fake news, misinformation and disinformation, DEF in collaboration with WhatsApp, has been conducting a series of workshops across India. A recent workshop was organised for the police officials, security personnel and university students in Tripura in January. These groups are focussed upon as high-engagement groups and the workshops focus on differentiating among fact, rumour, opinion and fake news; learning newest techniques to verify information; and leveraging WhatsApp’s features for restricting unwanted communication.
Raking out malnutrition through POSHAN
POSHAN Abhiyaan is the Union Government's flagship programme to improve nutritional standards among pregnant women, lactating mothers, infants, children and adolescents. In an effort to amplify the reach of POSHAN Abhiyaan in rural India through digitisation, Unicef and DEF have collaborated to organise community dialogues on POSHAN Abhiyaan in 10 states — Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal through 200 POSHAN Preraks post a four-day Training of Trainer (ToT). Read More
You can help someone get the right to vote this May
#NoVoterLeftBehind is an awareness and crowdfunding campaign to address the massive crisis of missing voters from electoral rolls ahead of the 2019 elections. Citizens can then use the app to enroll themselves. But this massive initiative requires immediate funds. Using technology to address the problem, the project makes Election Commission data available to citizens via a mobile app called ‘Missing Voters’ and invites volunteers to spread awareness about missing voters in their neighbourhoods. We need to urgently help identify and enroll the missing voters across India before the 2019 polls and for that, funds are urgently needed. To support our campaign, visit our crowdfunding page.
Empowered woman, empowered community
Chautalya Devi lives with her sons in a small village in Alwar district, Rajasthan. Her sons and their families never had time for her and it made her feel helpless. With age catching-up with her, only hope remained is the widow pension. Every month she spent a huge sum on transporting to her bank for the pension but in vain. When dependency on her sons completely overshadowed her, she broke down. Then, she met SoochnaPreneur Sushila and was astounded to come across an empowered woman. Sushila applied for the pension on behalf and a month later, she started receiving it.
Cooperative practices in digital domain
DEF’s research team has been actively engaged as a stakeholder representative to the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation on the methods and principles that should shape cooperative practices in the digital domain. It submitted its written responses to the Panel and is currently amid active dialogue to strengthen and develop mechanisms for cross-cutting issues on privacy, capacity-building, and development, besides issues currently shaping the digital rights landscape in India. In this regard, a detailed submission was sent to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on DEF's position on the Draft Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018.

Heal the world

Menace of Cyberstalking

Caring for Earth

A powerful tool for empowerment
Bikram Shrestha
Internet Society Nepal
In today’s world, mobile devices cannot be separated from day-to-day life. Our needs and demands for mobile facilities/services are constantly on the rise and are gradually fulfilled by new innovations and technologies. Society at large uses mobile to communicate, do business, perform banking transactions, learn, travel and live in comfort. These days, a mobile device is both general-purpose technology (GPT) used for a better and smart lifestyle as well as a safety device to be used in emergencies. The rapid development of mobile technology has played a key role in shaping social life. Read More
Sixer Video: Shaping the future

A match between a company and aspiring talent needs to be perfect. Thus, the hiring process can take up to weeks to ensure that the teaming is right. Sixer Video enables recruiters to hire talent through an efficient system. It is primarily a screen¬ing process that provides tools to a hiring authority to assess candidates through video submissions to simplify and hasten the process. Recruiters can then decide whom to meet for the next round. This creates a linear mechanism to shortlist candidates by erasing the need to meet every candidate in the preliminary rounds. 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.

House No. 44, 3rd Floor, Kalu Sarai, New Delhi | def@defindia.net | www.defindia.org | +91-11-26532786