Rajasthan: Tata Trusts and Prodea Systems announced that 75 million residents will now be able to benefit through their partnership which aims to bring more residents of the state of Rajasthan online and enables them to access important information and services in the areas of health, finances, agriculture, farming, education and entrepreneurship.
This initiative that will be supported by the Government of Rajasthan and the Non-Government Organizations representing their constituents, will bring beneficial government services, maternal and infant health information, nutrition and child care benefits and education, farming and animal husbandry training, news and information, along with many other internet based services, to the farthest and most rural communities within Rajasthan, providing access to information for those residents who would not normally be able to take advantage of the internet due to the lack of access to computers, smart devices or illiteracy.
This progressive partnership is called DRUV – the North Star, which combines the philanthropic and entrepreneurial vision of Tata Trusts to Prodea’s technological expertise along with Digital India initiatives to target Rajasthan’s technologically deprived communities. The partnership will address some of the prevalent challenges that rural communities in developing countries face, namely:
· Highly distributed populations with very limited access to technology
· Very high illiteracy rates which make traditional written communications impossible
· Lack of awareness of entitlements of government benefits by a majority of people who are in need of it, due to high illiteracy rates and limited or no access to information
· Low smart phone penetration with access typically with the male of the household, providing no benefit to women and children
Additional services and solutions provided by the partnership include:
· Broadcasting and education on natural disasters or contagious disease outbreaks.
· Financial inclusion
· Family planning information
· Education initiatives from Kindergarten to Grade 10
· A distribution channel for other social programs
“It is an honor to partner with one of the most trusted and respected organisations in India – Tata Trusts. Together we are going to empower people to elevate themselves from poverty to prosperity through education and knowledge,” said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of Prodea. “We have created an entirely new model of community development that, until now, did not exist. We are proud to be able to contribute to a tangible demonstration of how technology can transform the lives of even the most remote populations. While we have seen progress in the availability of the internet – many underprivileged populations cannot benefit from the connectivity because of the digital divide observed in these types of communities. We are proud to be able to provide a first ever implementation of a concrete and demonstrable solution to the digital gap that is keeping 4.5 billion people offline.”
“Internet usage in Rajasthan has a significant potential for growth. Tata Trusts aims to create accessibility to affordable and informative content by bringing digital connectivity to television screens with a view to make a difference to the quality of lives of especially the under privileged and deprived. Rajasthan being a geography of focus for several Tata Trusts initiatives gives an added advantage in project planning and implementation. ”, said Mr. R Venkataramanan, Executive Trustee, Tata Trusts
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