Socio-economic stature of women has changed during the last few decades. But, still nearly, 20% of the enterprises in India are owned by women; in rural areas the scenario gets grim. Where, women are engaged in un-paid work performing household activities and directly not involved in income generation. Thus, empowerment in true sense turns into a distant aim. DEF, through its digital interventions encourages women entrepreneurship in the rural communities. Women running their businesses at micro level are imparted digital skill training to use internet, e-commerce, social media for business promotion etc. Read More


A ‘WOW’ Programme for Bridging Digital Divide
Digital literacy is vital for people to be able to access the current internet facilities in India, as well as to digitally empower the youth with an enhanced skill set furthermore driving the job market at large. As a significant percentage of the population lacks access to the digital knowledge and service, World on Wheels (WoW) program is bringing rural and semi urban communities closer to the magic of digital world. Read More
Special Lens Studio Workshop
Snapchat has been working to empower women with essential augmented reality (AR) skills. Earlier this year, they collaborated with Digital Empowerment Foundation to reach out to women across India to host a special Lens Studio workshop. Snapchat has been working to empower women with essential augmented reality (AR) skills as they believe it is a powerful tool for self-expression. Read More
Spying Culture Digital Privacy
“Be it people elbowing each other in a crowded bus or strangers sharing berths on a train without raising an eyebrow,” Osama Manzar. The nosy neighbor, pictured with a pair of binoculars, standing in dubious moral shadows (of a curtain), in pursuit of gossip-cum-information, has long been a mainstay in Indian media. This trope is emblematic of the Indian sensibility around privacy — or, rather, the lack thereof. “Right from a widespread acceptance of men and censoring elders ‘looking’ at women on the street... Read More

Helping the Needful
The Covid-19 pandemic erupted as a health crisis and all other ailments were sidelined. People in the rural areas who were dependent on government hospitals had no place to go but to bear the pain and pray to get well on their own. One such person was Noordin living in Jakhopur village in Rajasthan, he was suffering from a stomach ailment for a long time. His stomach had abruptly grown in size, and even after consulting many non-degree allopathic practitioners in the village his pain was not reducing. After being in pain for a long time Noordin decided to go to the city private hospital and get treated. Before he could materialize his decision, he heard about Doconline camp... Read More
A Digital Opportunity
During the strict lockdown when most of us were locked inside our homes, Mohsina Khatoon was able to sense the hard times coming her way. After the initial days of lockdown, Moshina spent all the available cash on buying groceries and essential items for her family. Later, her neighbours refused to lend her money, hence, she was left with no option but to venture out and find an open bank or ATM dispensing money. In a desperate move of knocking on every door, Moshina got in touch with the center coordinator of Smartpur Spoke Center, Melaraiganj. For the digitally equipped coordinator, it was a matter of few moments, as with the support of digital payment tool Moshina received her money. Read More
Bridging the Gap
Nayakdih is a village on the outskirt of Uttar Pradesh where teens like Harsh are interested to learn about digital technologies- mobiles, computers, tablets and more. However, the nearest computer-training center is 3 kilometers from his home and they charge Rs. 600 per month, which is a significant amount from his father’s income. Luckily, DEF’s Smartpur center was established near his village, where the coordinator motivated the teens of his age group to come and learn computers and other modern digital devices. They were surprised to learn that the training is imparted free of cost at every Smartpur center. Hence, Harsh along with his friends joined the course. Read More
From an Employee to an Entrepreneur
Jyothi, living in Rampur village in Karnataka, lost her job during the initial weeks of lockdown. The family was entirely dependent on her husband’s income, which was not enough to meet the ends. However, through her acquaintance, she came to know about the benefits of enrolling in the DEF’s Smartpur project. After completion of her training program, she set up a Spoke center and rented a room for her office in the same organization where she was previously working. Jyothi started by providing digital payment services to the people, filling government ID cards online applications, mobile recharge, photocopy, lamination, money transfer and other digital services. Read More
Living the Dream
K Shiva Laxmi is a young girl from Cheemalapalli village of Andhra Pradesh. She wanted to be like her hard-working father and support him to run the family. Hence, soon after completing her graduation, she started searching for a job, but soon realized that without being digitally literate it is difficult to find a suitable employment.She then came to know about the Smartpur Project by Digital Empowerment Foundation through her relatives. With her eagerness to learn, and zeal to do something in her life, within a short span of time she was able to operate a computer, browse the internet and operate an email account. Read More
Making a valuable difference
Chaitanya Bharati, a young woman from a small town of Andhra Pradesh grew up seeing her father working hard as a daily wager. Being the only child, she was not sure how she would be able to carry the responsibilities of her aging parents, in a society where boys are the only hope. Nevertheless, she managed to complete her graduation and started looking for employment. Luckily, during her job search she got in touch with a DEF’s representative who motivated her to be an entrepreneur. Therefore, after receiving digital training she started her SoochnaPreneur Center because of which she became famous in her village and people started to seek her help in applying for entitlements, government cards, online applications and more. Read More
Connecting with Government schemes
Akhtari had never thought of raising her children alone, but the death of her husband put her through difficult times. With three children to look after and earn a living in Jakhopur village located in Alwar, Rajasthan was undoubtedly a daunting task. With the support from her community people, Akhtari learnt about a scheme run by the State government, according to which her children were entitled to receive benefits from the government. Therefore, she applied for the entitlements under the Palanhar Yojana several times, but every time her application was rejected without knowing the reason for the rejections. Read More
The power of Digital Technology
It is quite common in rural areas that people aren’t able to take benefit from the schemes due to the lack of awareness and inaccessible registration portals. To bridge this gap, Lakhimpur Digital center organized a camp in Paliya village, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The camp focused on increasing awareness about the government programs and entitlements. Women from the community were the participants and focus was given on Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangla Yojana, a state run scheme for the benefit of girl child. Cash transfer direct to the bank account is the key aspect of the scheme. Spot registration of the beneficiaries was also done. Read More
The role of the Internet and international Internet-related public policy in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and possible future pandemics
DEF held a stakeholder's discussion on “The role of the Internet and international Internet-related public policy in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and possible future pandemics” on 13th August 2021. The discussion focused on low access and connectivity issues, whether new internet applications in the Internet of Things (IoT) and other platforms can be accelerated to overcome the impact of Covid-19 in appropriate Response, Recovery, and Resilience (RRR). Read More
TypeRight is a research-based weekly newsletter published by the Research and Advocacy division at DEF.
Ramifications of data falling into the hands of the Taliban and lessons for the rest of the countries; increasing dangers to labour’s right to privacy; Digital terrorism; tour of DEF’s Ghazipur based digital centre. Last week, we discussed the ramifications of the biometric data of Afghans falling into the hands of the Taliban and the lessons that the saga holds not just for those responsible for the collection and security of data in Afghanistan but every human being across the world. The story continues to develop. The data falling into the hands of the Taliban has put the lives of millions at risk. Read More
TypeRight is a research-based weekly newsletter published by the Research and Advocacy division at DEF.
India at the bottom of another ranking; Mind Control Crime; Digital Incompetence; DEF and APC's Feminist Internet Campaign. If DEF's reason to exist had to be be spelt out in two words, those words would be: "Digital Divide". Access to digital today means access to welfare benefits including food, access to democracy and much more. After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic teaching and education have moved largely to the internet, but many students have not been able to make the same move. Every week we share a news report about someone or the other who has lost their life trying in the effort to access the internet to study. Read More

Women of Digital Age

mBillionth Virtual Closure Event

We Thank You!

Chatbot: Tool towards debunking the misinformation and fake news
By Digital Empowerment Foundation
Over the past years India has seen some of the most adverse fallouts of online misinformation. Whether it is the form of offline violence, social panic, or targeted campaigns of harassment, the problematics of misinformation are rather complex and diverse society like India. Fact-checking and media and information literacy (MIL) have emerged as potential strategies for countering misinformation. Under the project Developing Rural Ecosystem Against Misinformation (DREAM) funded by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), DEF imparted media and information literacy skills amongst the community through the creation of call-in numbers and chatbot that have enabled a community to report misinformation and rumours circulating within the community. Read More
A life inspiring other.

Deepika had a keen interest in learning embroidery. However, being born in a conservative family, she had to prioritize marriage over her plans, which broke her hope of becoming an independent woman. Luckily, Deepika’s husband supported her in pursuing her bachelor’s degree. However, she wanted to do more in life and hence joined the embroidery classes offered by Smartpur Center located in Chinna Kondur, Telangana. Soon after the training, Deepika became a trainer at the same center and is now training others the valuable skill of embroidery. Currently, 15 women are being trained by her and she keeps motivating them so that they can become self-reliant. Surely, she is a source of inspiration for many young women.

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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. |