Digital Empowerment Foundation
Legal literacy camp for migrant workers on 19 April in Allahabad.
Mr. Hiramani, Block Coordinator emphasized upon the process of registration with the Labor Department.

On 19 April 2016, Paryavaran Evam Prodyogiki Utthan Samiti(PEPUS) organised a legal literacy camp for migrant workers and labourers at village  Mamai, Kaudihar block, Dist.- Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The camp was held to make migrant workers aware of their rights and entitlements. It is the first step towards work security and empowerment.
Mr. Puneet, Program Manager, discussed the role of community participation in dealing with government bodies especially the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Workers must not hesitate to approach the Pradhan and other representatives in taking up serious issues regarding their living conditions. He said that the legal counsel sits every month at labour help centers to resolve labour disputes.He appealed to the participants to actively participate in the upcoming GramSabha Meeting and feel free to express their grievances in front of the PRIs.

Mr. Hiramani, Block Coordinator explained the process of registration of the workers with the Labor Department. He stressed that the choices that migrant workers make—whether to migrate or work locally– must be well thought . Working under MNREGA may provide them comparatively less wages but the registration with the labour department becomes easier as the working days are documented. They can benefit from 15 schemes worth 8 lakh in their life time if they are duly registered and regularly renewed at the labour department.

Mr. Krishna Kant Tiwari , Block Coordinator shed light on the importance of a legal  agreement with the employer / contractor before starting work. He highlighted the concept of Iqrarnamana which is a written justiciable document between the labourer and the employer. Getting into agreement would preclude any loss of wages or any infringement of the contract.

Mr. Rajkumar spoke about the legal provisions that cover unorganized labourer especially migrant labourers. He emphasized the point that the law dictates that the wages of male and female workers must be equal and there should be no discrimination.

Mr. Puneet, Program Manager, discussed upon the community participation in dealing with government bodies especially the PRIs.Mr. Rajkumar , detailed the legal provisions that cover unorganized labour  especially migrant labours.


PEPUS is a non-government organisation that runs from Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. It works towards overall welfare and well-being of migrant workers. It has taken up several initiatives like security of migrant workers, women’s livelihood, youth skill development training and placement, counseling of labourers, youth skill development programs. Till date, 33293 migrant workers with the Shramik Sahayata Kendra and 2189 bank accounts have opened with the help of the organisation.
You can visit them here:
Facebook link:

Author: PEPUS
Category: Uncategorized
Date: April 26, 2016

VIOM Networks invite CSR Proposals for FY 2016-17

Viom Networks invites proposals on Thematic Areas of environment, awareness building and restoration of degraded forest land under CSR programme – Sanrakshan – for the year 2016-17 within the territory of India.

Date of Issue: 13th April 2016

Closing Date: 9th May 2016


Objectives for inviting proposals:

  • To identify and develop CSR programs in line with our thrust areas, namely – afforestation and mass awareness programmes on environment protection.
  • Special focus on afforestation and green livelihoods, environment-friendly development and fellowships, SGD and youth education
  • All initiatives should be sustainable and scalable

Eligibility Criteria

Registered NGO/Public Charitable Trust/Registered private organization with a proven track record in the relevant area and be operating under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA).

Format for synopsis:

Name of the project
Thematic Area
Impact on target group
Indicators for measuring impact
Target Group and the location
Implementation strategy
Action plan with timeline
Estimated cost including management cost
Brief company profile and bios of key personnel

About Viom’s SR Initiatives:

Viom Networks is playing a role in transforming lives that makes Viom more than just a telecom infra company. The company is guided by a strong commitment to the communities around it. We have embraced a sustainable approach to business – one that takes into account the environmental and societal impact of our operations. Our CSR initiatives, Sanrakshan, is committed to continue to create ‘Green Telecommunication for A Better Planet’. With an aim to spread mass awareness on environmental protection and conservation, we work with our NGO partners in schools and local communities with the active support of our employee volunteers.

Those fulfilling all the above criteria, are required to email a brief proposal (not exceeding 3 pages in the suggested format) to Dr. Preeti Aggarwal (, CSR Lead at Viom Networks.

The information has been sourced from:

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: Uncategorized
Date: April 22, 2016

Column of the week—Facilitating catalytic change through CSR in IT for Social Development

While there are discussions and debates considering ICT as an important aspect in reaching out to masses and thus bringing about desired social change, it is also essential to understand the context in which we are operating. Not undermining the potential of ICT to transform developing countries like ours into knowledge-based societies, IT sector as a whole has huge work to unfold in mapping the scope of their involvement resulting into a long-term positive impact – impact which can bring cheers to the face of millions of disadvantaged communities. If we attempt to understand this perspective, there are two types of technological interventions targeted at social development. First is to support and expand already existing processes amongst the demographic population who otherwise do not have access to these services. Second is to play a major role in establishing innovation induced creation of new activities and processes in its entirety. This century is witnessing manifold increase in interaction between human and digital media.
It has become increasingly important to have access to digital space to be abreast with the economic, political and social aspects of not just our own society but of the world as a whole. However, it is evident that not everyone is aware about these facilities let aside having access to them. India is a case study on digital divide where one section of society is leading the technological innovation and the other is in total disconnect from this reality. It is not just the cost element being the base of this divide but the widespread illiteracy amongst the socio-economically disadvantaged communities. This issue gets enormously compounded by the already existing societal biases related to caste, religion, gender, wealth, education and so on.
This interwoven issue with multiple complexities is surmountable if broken down into specific and realistically achievable tasks. Technology based corporates are looked upon to be enablers in this scenario obviously for their usage of these facilities and potential to reuse the assets to address access part of this digital need for the larger community. Capgemini believes in having a long-term engagement with impact oriented interventions. Providing computers and facilitating internet connection with few employees volunteering for training is not a big task for us, but when we look at a bigger picture and attempt to understand the scope of this issue, these efforts are not enough.
Having a scale of operation coupled with monitoring and evaluation process in place which would ensure large scale implementation as well as accountability from the corporate sector and civil society is a key to have a long Facilitating catalytic change through IT for social development. Innovation, digitalizing the content which are relevant in and for social space, creating digital platform to share/ interact on solutions and doing all this to a scale commensurate with India’s created demand would be major game changer and would catalyze the development process through IT enabled services.
Though computers and other technologies are needed but they have limitation to complete the demanded requirement. The IT service providers should look forward to have initiatives implemented around training and education of new generation rather than to have technologies resulting into short-term ends in themselves. To achieve this, at Capgemini, through CSR, we intend to have strategic approach towards building the capacities of communities to understand digital content and use the content for great empowerment and transformation.

By: Kumar Anurag Pratap, CSR Leader, Capgemini

This column has been previously published in ‘NO PROFIT HIGH IMPACT’ eNGO Challenge Award Book 2015

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: Uncategorized
Date: April 22, 2016

Impacting the lives of women through value chains

Udyogini aims to help poor, illiterate women by providing them the right opportunities, training, business development services to help them manage and grow microenterprises, increase productivity and ensure sustainability.
Business services help engage rural women in products and service based enterprises that have high market potential, realistic investments and require optimum skills. Business services identified from value chain analysis of selected enterprises are provided to women to engage and scale up the enterprises. In later stages producers are enabled to form and strengthen producer institutions to efficiently manage backend and forward operations for the enterprises.

Udyogini strongly believes in the transformative approach to economic empowerment in new market conditions while empowering women to adopt differential roles the market expects and internalize and manage the competition that market engenders. Value chains are the competitive mechanisms currently operating in major agricultural and industrial products in the era of globalization where the products and their markets are spread across regions and nations.

The benefits of transformative approach is revealed in the fact that Udyogini has directly impacted 35776 women and their families through value chains (such as lac, vegetables, herbs and poultry) that show potential for scale in difficult market conditions in remote districts of four Indian states (Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan) that are affected by poverty, conflict or climate challenges and broken enterprise ecosystems.

The details have been taken from their website and Annual Report
Visit Udyogini here:

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: Uncategorized
Date: April 21, 2016

An app to improve livelihoods of service providers in Patiala
isewa photos (1)

The iSewa app, developed by Patiala Foundation helps you find from more than 600 service listings near your place—plumber, washerman, gardener, electrician, cobbler, florists, etc. In no time, the right person lands up at your doorstep. The app was launched in November 2015 and already boasts of 200 downloads. It is available for download on Android phones and will soon be launched for iOS. The services can also be accessed directly from the Foundation’s website. If a service is not available, users can also add information about services. Patiala Foundation has made the process community oriented wherein users themselves can add providers whom they trust.
Other than service provides, the app also provides information about blood donors. “We have started adding details of blood donors in different cities, of people who are voluntarily ready to donate. People can log into iSewa and find the right match in case of an emergency,” says Ravee. Patiala Foundation is also planning to form groups of different service providers in different cities and conduct training sessions for them.
Patiala Foundation is an NGO that has been working on developing livelihood projects since 2009. Two years ago, they started a facility named dial-a-rickshaw, with a view to making it easier for residents of Patiala to find auto rickshaws when needed. It was while developing this idea that another one struck that the app could be extended for all service providers like cobblers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc., across the country. And that is how iSewa was born.
Impact Story:
“There is an elderly man in Karnal who cleans brass utensils. Earlier, he used to visit just two or three houses in a week on his bicycle, and that was all. Not many people knew about him. But several people wanted to find someone who could help them clean their antique brass collections and utensils. We uploaded his details on the app. Today, he gets calls from about five to six houses in a day and remains very busy. That is the kind of impact iSewa is creating,” concludes Ravee Aahluwalia, Chief Functionary, Patiala Foundation

You can visit Patila Foundation:

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: Uncategorized
Date: April 19, 2016

Innovation for Social Good- d.light brightens up 57 million lives with Solar Lamps

d.light is a global social enterprise delivering affordable solar-powered solutions designed for the two billion people in the developing world without access to reliable energy. d.light provides distributed solar energy solutions for households and small businesses all over the world. d.light supplies power products in 62 countries. Out of the 57 million people, 15 million school children have been reached with a reliable, affordable and accessibile solar lamp. d.light’s impact strategy is based on ‘theories of change’ across the four hubs- Africa, China, South Asia and the United States. This approach produces a deeper understanding of how solar energy affects households that previously relied on poor quality, expensive, and unhealthy alternatives, such as kerosene, candles and diesel. 57 million people have produced longer working hours of upto 27 billion hours, safer environment and health conditions, tons of CO2 offset and money saved.They are aiming to reach out to another 50 million people by 2010 thus accounting to a totality of 100 million people.In India, you can buy d.light products on

Picture courtesy:
Please note: The above mentioned figures are reported by d.light on January 31, 2016.

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: Uncategorized
Date: March 12, 2016

8 incredibly interesting paths chosen by female Acid Attack Victims for ‘Inclusion’, 2 March 2016

Café for a cause: The Cafe Run by Acid Attack Survivors
Close to the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India is a small café run by acid attack survivors. The women walk with confidence wearing white shirts with ‘STOP ACID ATTACKS’ written in bold red color at the back serve the visitors who come from all over the world to support the warriors. Sheroes Hangout is a crowd-funded café, pay-as-you-wish, with contributions going toward the rehabilitation of survivors of acid violence in India.
The five women employed at the café share very similar horrific, spine-chilling stories of the attack and the dejection that followed. Rupa and Kumari work alongside Ritu Saini, Gita Mahor, and Neetu Mahor. The women, according to TakePart, lived a secluded life until they found Stop Acid Attacks on Facebook and learned of its initiatives, one of which included Sheroes’ Hangout.
Sheroes’ Hangout provides them with the financial stability to gradually move away from their assailant and gives them confidence to lead a normal life.

Acid Attack Survivor debuts for a Bollywood film
An acid attack in 2008 robbed Kavita Bisht of her eyesight and her face was left disfigured but this has not stopped the determined 25-year-old from realising her dreams. Bisht is all set to debut for Dilkhush Rishidev’s upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Crazy Lamhe’. The movie is based on the lives of acid attack survivors from across the country.
Bisht told TOI, “I am excited to be a part of this movie because it will spread awareness among people about the physical as well as the mental agony that a woman undergoes due to acid attack and on top of it the indifferent behaviour of society makes things worse for her. I had given my consent to get featured because the movie promises to show acid attack victims in an empowered and motivating role.”

Acid Attack Survivor studies at New York fashion school and interns with Manish Arora
Monica’s journey started 10 years ago, when she was a budding model in the first year of her degree in apparel design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, in New Delhi. An incident that followed left her skin burnt with acid and changed her life forever. It has taken over 46 reconstructive surgeries to recover. Monica Singh is now studying at top New York fashion school Parsons, which boasts alumni including Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. She was a great performer and was soon interning for renown Indian fashion designer Manish Arora.
And in January 2014 she went one step further when she was accepted to study fashion marketing at Parsons.
Monica told dailymail: ‘My passion has always been to make people feel beautiful, like princesses, and hopefully in New York I will get the opportunity to prove what I can do.’A crowd-funding campaign was launched to raise $50,000 (£32,000) to pay for her fees and she finally started in August 2014.

Lounge cum Spa run by an acid attack survivor in Agra
Ghaziabad’s Sonia Chowdhury’s face was battered by a heinous acid attack in 2004. She was then employed at a private salon. After so many years, Sonia is ready to begin a new life. She is soon launching a lounge-cum-spa in Agra. The upcoming spa-cum-lounge will also sport a cafe-lounge set up in the front with the customers getting a chance to avail facilities of salon and spa. It is the next initiative of the survivors who have established ‘Sheroes Hangout’ café.

Online Shopping for a cause: Acid attack survivor’s label to be launched at snapdeal
Rupa is a 21 year old acid attack survivor- entrepreneur and designer. Her designs are showcased at Sheroes Hangout, Agra. A Dream of becoming a designer seemed far-fetched, however, Instead of hiding her face behind a scarf, she went out and launched her own label. She is now setting up an online store at to aim at a bigger audience who support the cause but cannot be reached directly at the store in Agra.

Beauty of the soul- Acid Attack victims walk on the ramp and face the camera!
An acid-attack survivor in India has been made a model for a fashion brand, drawing attention to the crime in the country with one of the highest rates of acid violence in the world.
Laxmi, who goes by one name, features in an advertising campaign for a new range of apparel from Viva N Diva in an initiative the company said is aimed at raising awareness of those who have lost their physical beauty to acid attacks.
A video clip titled “Face of Courage” shows Laxmi being made up and then striding down the catwalk while smiling at the cameras, her scarred face in focus.

In another event, last year, Acid attack victims were photographed by Rahul Sharan in Rupa’s clothing collection called Rupa designs. The 41 photos show 22-year-old Rupa and four friends laughing and striking playful poses while wearing some of her fashion designs.Photographer Rahul Saharan to get involved and together helped the girls feel confident enough to be photographed. Rahul, who worked free of cost for the shoot, added: ‘I kept telling the girls “don’t let others tell you what beauty is, you yourself are beautiful, every woman is beautiful”.’

Beauty Salon helps acid attack victims become self-reliant
In Lahore, Pakistan, An entrepreneur has opened a beauty salon to help rehabilitate the female survivors of acid attack.
Mussarat Misbah founded the Depilex Smile Again Foundation to help victims become self-reliant members of the community following their horrific ordeal. The foundation’s aim is to provide the women with medical and psychological care and help them gain confidence and employment. Over the last decade, Misbah has helped around 600 women, with most electing to be trained as beauticians. Aneesha Zoya and Bushra Shafi are both acid attack survivors who work in the salon.
Aneesha told Dailymail: ‘After this tragedy of getting burnt, I had a feeling that I am not the same person anymore. I stopped venturing out of my house. I stopped meeting people as well. I stopped attending any gatherings and functions.
‘After coming here, Mussarat Misbah helped me a lot. First she made me undergo surgeries for my face and then I did a course to become a beautician.’
Bushra added: ‘After coming here, my life changed completely. She taught me confidence. She taught me how to face the world.
‘She made me believe that I have the ability to cope with anything and anyone. It boosted my self-confidence so that I could lead my life in a better way.’
Acid attacks continue to be a problem in Pakistan, with women burned for everything from having a female child to offering too small a dowry.

‘Beauty tips with Reshma’: Beauty tutorials to ban sale of ‘Acid’

DIY(do-it-yourself) channels are very popular on YouTube. DIY channels upload beauty, makeup and art tutorials usually featuring women with glowing skin and high cheek bones. Having said that, YouTube channel ‘Make Love Not Scars’ has been uploading beauty tutorials with a bit of a twist. Channel has released a series called ‘Beauty Tips with Reshma’ where you can see a heavily-scarred but completely undeterred acid attack victim in the videos, showing how to apply the perfect liner with the confidence of any beauty blogger.At the end of their videos, they inform us how these beauty products are easily available in the market, but so is acid. In a bid to ban acid from being available in the markets, the campaign ‘Make Love Not Scars’ has partnered with Ogilvy and Mather to reach to a wider audience with these videos.

You can reach all the organisations working for Acid Attack Survivors

Photo Courtesy: Dailymail

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: DEF, NEWS
Date: March 2, 2016

8 m-health interventions to improve the lives of Rural Women across South Asia, 1 March 2016

m-sakhi: Mobile Friends with ASHAs
Increasingly the Government of India is looking at ways to leverage the vast reach of mobile technology to address some of its biggest health issues. Last year, IntraHealth pilot-tested an intervention designed to support ASHAs in communicating with and caring for their patients through the use of the mSakhi mobile application.
mSakhi, which means mobile friend in Hindi, is an interactive tutorial that offers 153 key health messages on prenatal and delivery care, postpartum mother and newborn care, immunization, postpartum family planning, and nutrition using a combination of text messages, audio, and illustrations all contextualized with localized illustrations and dialects. Developers created the educational content based on the National Rural Health Mission’s curriculum for ASHAs and sought feedback from ASHAs through a series of focus groups.

AMAKOMAYA: Maternity health & Gynecologist interviews reach to the remotest areas of Nepal

The main aim of ANAKOMAYA is to make pregnant women aware about their pregnancy situation by delivering audio and video content to their simple mobile device in the remotest areas of Nepal. The objective is not limited to delivering multimedia enabled content to pregnant women in the rural and remote areas but maximizing the benefits of Internet services and mobile application by connecting all the concern stakeholders such as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV), Local health post doctor, family members (specially HUSBAND of pregnant women) and government District Health Officers (DHO) and making them aware about the situation of each pregnant women and make them responsible to better plan for safe and institutional delivery in rural and remote areas. Animated video has been taken from the baby centers and dubbed in Nepali language. For weekly purpose the project has developed separate videos by interviewing gynecologists. More than 450 pregnant women have already registered in the application and continuously monitoring by FCHV and Health workers.

Living the teenage dream at grassroots with “Stories of Life”
“Stories of Life” is commonly known as mobi-sodes. The idea is to introduce a similar concept like episodes to the young generation in a private mobile screen. Mobi-sodes is a venture to reach out to the young people at their most vulnerable point of time i.e. between ages 13 to 19. NEEDS, intends to address this vulnerability in a positive way by making educative video clippings to enhance the knowledge, skill and information of young people for their informed choice.
Using small video clippings as “Stories of Life” as a tool in communication and development interventions involves: Listening to the concerns of adolescents through formation of young people’s platform. Communicating the messages and supporting information in simple facts for life in interesting and constructive videos that are relevant to a particular context. Dealing with the questions, anxieties, regarding adolescent issues and myths and misconceptions that affect them the most.

Paywast mHealth: Largest Social Network in Afhghanistan
Paywast (meaning “to connect” in Dari), is Afghanistan’s largest social network with more than 1.5 million users. The platform, which stands at the forefront of SMS-based social networking technology in the country – processing roughly 30 percent of all SMS messages – also assists government departments, NGOs, and other enterprises to customize mobile solutions for Afghan citizens. Responding to a low rate of facility-based deliveries and limited referrals, the call center aims to ensure that all women have the opportunity to deliver at health centers with qualified medical professionals by managing customer relationships between patients and community health workers (CHWs), and facilitating access to emergency medical transportation when necessary. Mobile Money Health workers contact the mHealth call center in Kabul to ask for medical information to help them manage cases of obstetric emergencies. For low-risk cases, call center staff provide instructions and suggestions to health workers concerning safe maternal health practices. In high-risk cases, the call center encourages the health worker to refer the patient to a health facility and will provide emergency transport through informal transportation partners (local car or motorcycle owners) to ensure patients go to clinics that provide the appropriate medical services to address their needs. During its first year of operation, the Paywast/CAF mHealth call center enrolled more than 2,000 citizens into the program, of which approximately 65 percent were women. The call center made transportation referrals to more than 1,800 women and their families – all facilitated by mobile money transactions. The center also observed an improvement in the ratio of childbirths that took place in a clinic versus at home in affected areas.
Women Mobile Life Channel
MIRA Channel (also called as Women Mobile Lifeline Channel) is an integrated mobile phone channel to provide health information to rural women and connect them with public health services using mobile phones in low-resource settings. The objective of MIRA is to enable women improve health indicators by self-managing their health and reach towards a larger goal of women empowerment using digital connect. MIRA has multiple sub-channels like Pre-natal care, Child immunization, Newborn care, Family planning and Adolescent health issues with an objective to improve maternal and child health through RMNCH+A approach. Each sub-channel has multiple tools which delivers information to women through interactive edutainment tools by building their knowledge and creating awareness on critical health issues, and ultimately connecting them to the public health services.

Mobile Kunji- Maternity tips in Santhali
Improving maternal health is a real priority in Jharkhand. Despite recent improvements, child mortality in certain areas of the state is shockingly high. To curb this issue, Mobile Kunji (Kunji means a ‘guide’ or ‘key’ in Hindi) is an audio-visual aid used by community health workers to advise rural families about maternal health, child health, family planning and immunisation. It consists of health messages, voiced by a fictional doctor (“Dr Anita”) delivered via mobile phone and supplemented by an illustrated deck of cards. To reach those who needed it most, Mobile Kunji is rolled out in two languages – Hindi as well as Santhali.

Everything about diabetes in 12 local languages- mDiabetes
Arogya World reached more than one million people from all over India with text messages in 12 languages about diabetes and its prevention, and has tested the program’s effectiveness in bringing about behavior change known to prevent diabetes. mDiabetes was designed as a population-level nationwide public health intervention using mobile technology to establish health behaviors known to prevent diabetes.
Messages were provided free to the consumers twice a week for six months. Participants came from all over India and a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Arogya World then refined the messages, adapting them culturally for Indian audiences based on consumer feedback and review by its Behavior Change Task Force. Nokia Life provided the translation and transmission infrastructure, and transmitted more than 56 million mDiabetes text messages to the consumers throughout 2012.Arogya World assessed program effectiveness by comparing responses of 950 consumers, based on telephone interviews, before and after they received the messages, and also by comparing them with the responses of a similar number of consumers who did not receive mDiabetes messages. Detailed analysis of program effectiveness is ongoing.
Consumers’ awareness of diabetes and its complications increased, and promising trends in behavior change were noted: an 11% increase in daily exercise, a 15% increase in the intake of 2-3 servings of fruits a day, and an 8% increase in 2-3 servings of vegetables a day. The self-reported data are statistically significant. With mDiabetes have helped 150,000 people lead healthy lives.

Conduct 33 diagnostic tests on Mobile through Swasthya Slate
Research and interactions with rural doctors and health care practitioners showed that the real power of mobile based health (mHealth) lies in point of care diagnostics. It is not hard to see the power of your phone or tablet being able to do ECG, measure your heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, know the status of pregnant mother, help in monitoring mothers during birth and knowing whether a patient has malaria or dengue.
Swasthya Slate is a powerful device that allows Android Tablets and Phones to conduct 33 diagnostic tests on the mobile device. The Swasthya Slate includes specialized applications that help users perform a variety of screenings and health analysis protocols. It allows users to deliver fast and accurate care at home, in clinics and just about anywhere. It contains decision support tools to enable users to deliver quality recommendations for achieving better health.

The slate stores electronic medical records both locally on the phone/tablet and also pushes the data onto our cloud. This allows offline/online operations and doctor on call services. The tests and diagnostic equipments include ecg, urine, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood hemoglobin etc. Swasthya slates have been installed at more than 80 locations worldwide. It has impacted 40,000 lives approximately.
Photo courtesy:

Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: DEF, NEWS
Date: March 1, 2016

Innovation for Social Good- Mirakle Courier: Service run by deaf people

There is estimated to be about 8 million deaf adults in India. Of them only 67% of them find employment. When they do find employment, for most of them it is in the informal sector where they are badly paid, only seasonally hired and treated especially bad for being deaf.
Mirakle Couriers is an innovative social enterprise that employs low income deaf adults. Through its delivery business it generates employment for the deaf, resulting in their empowerment and financial independence. The deaf population in India suffer from very poor levels of education, fortunately professional delivery requires skills that are tacit and can be learnt-by doing.
Mirakle Couriers work on the premise that delivery does not require verbal communication. The entire operations are conducted in Indian Sign Language and coordination is done by sms text; both are very efficient means of communication for couriers. Everything from pick-up to delivery is carefully planned branches in sign language. Communication between the field agents, staff and clients is done via SMS text messaging. Text messaging has been a wonderful technological advancement for the deaf, allowing them the unprecedented ability to communicate over long distances.
Over the last few Mirakle Couriers has grown to operate in 2 Branches in the city, employing 70 deaf employees and delivering over 65,000 shipments per month.
Our most esteemed clients include: Aditya Birla Group, Birla Sunlife, Godrej & Boyce, Vodafone Essar, IDFC, Bain Capital, Jindal Steel.

To know more about them, visit:


Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: DEF, NEWS
Date: February 25, 2016

Innovation for Social Good- Shout out to ‘WaterWalla’ for providing clean water in Dharavi,Mumbai

On the west coast of the city of dreams lies one of the largest slums of Asia with a population of 12,00,000(estimated) people. Dharavi is a large illegal squatter settlement where shanties are built over water pipes and uncovered sewages. All that a slumdweller can manage is a trampoline roof over their heads. The monsoon at the slum is even worse. During that time thousands get affected by drinking arsenic-contaminated water.
To curb the problem of ‘drinking-contaminated water’ and improve the lives of people, Waterwalla has developed an innovative, innovative, low-cost water filter that mitigates arsenic and bacteria by affixing directly to handpumps, the primary source of water supply in villages. Their mission is to improve access to clean water for underserved communities worldwide through engagement, education and innovation. Waterwalla is collaborating with local entrepreneurs to introduce other affordable water purification technologies for the public.
Today, the WaterWalla team is busy working to promote its model across India, and has even expanded to Sierra Leone in West Africa. It also launched a fellowship programme to support other start-ups in clean water.

They can be reached at:


Author: Digital Empowerment Foundation
Category: DEF, NEWS
Date: February 25, 2016