Who can learn the art & Science of Digital story telling?
- A computer literate creative person with no age bar
- Creative School going kids
- Creative college going students
- Creative housewives
- Creative professionals belong to formal & Informal sectors of the job
- Creative social workers
- Creative religious leaders & Scholars
- Creative old & retired people
- Creative teachers
Empowering the Underprivileged through the use of ICTs”
Project description( Empowering the Underprivileged through the use of ICTs Seelampur, Delhi)
Organization Details:Datamation Foundation as part of UNSECO’s Major Cross Cutting Theme Programme on Eradication of Poverty entitled “Empowering the Underprivileged through the use of ICTs” set up a Community Multi-Media Centre (CMC) in Babul-ulm-Madarasa located in extremely impoverished and backward Seelampur-Zaffrabad predominantly Muslim neighborhood in the fringes of North-East Delhi in March 2003. Average family size in the area is 8 to 10 and monthly family incomes range from Rs.4,000-5,000. Most people are engaged in the informal sector and small businesses. The school dropout rate amongst the girls is over 60%. Women get married early and are not permitted to step out of homes unaccompanied.
The objectives of establishing CMC in Seelampur were to test the hypothesis that after attaining a level of empowerment; language or education are not the barriers for the Minority Muslim women to access ICTs for unleashing their ‘latent’ communication need apart from a need to ‘creatively’ express themselves. The Project wanted to further ensure that by a systematic delivery of mentoring counseling and training materials in the local languages; it is possible the semi-literate and neo-literate, marginalized Minority Muslim women from the ghettos to earn sustainable livelihoods enabled by ICTs
Objective of Project: The Datamation Foundation and UNESCO wanted to provide appropriate ICT enabled support mechanism viz. capacity-building, marketing and financial linkage for the women engaged in informal sector of the economy encompassing small and petty businesses. Moreover ICTs could help overcome Muslim women’s perpetual cycle of poverty, social exclusion and low bargaining power by building their capacities and vocational skills.
The project also wanted to test if ICTs could play an enabling role in empowering the Muslim women to deal with age-old social problems such as the denial of equal status to the women in the society, dependence on the family for all decisions ranging from various personal decisions viz. reproductive rights, career and vocational options. Towards this end effective multi-media training, learning and counseling materials in empowerment; basic literacy and vocational skills enhancement were proposed to be deployed.
Towards this end; the Datamation Foundation set up a Community ICT Training-cum-counseling center in the Babul-ulm-Madarasa with UNESCO’s support. The Center located in the Seelampur-Zaffrabad ghetto was opened for the Community use in March 2003. Till date, the project has reached out to more than 2000 women from the Seelampur Community.
Scope of Project: Due to traditional linkage between the learning, teaching process and the enabling role of ICT on the same apart from the crucial role of Islamic clergy; it was decided to co-locate the CMC within the premises of Madarsa instead of a public place. The women were provided separate entry to the institution. Extensive community mobilization was done with the help of a Mentor Mother who reached out to the Community for enrollment of the women in the ICT Center. Community mobilization drive commences apart from ensuring enlistment of the women as “canvassers” and “community mobilizers”
Integrated with the technical aspect of the project; is the ongoing ethnographic action research process facilitated by the London School of Economics and the Queensland University, Australia. We also provided weekly updates based on ‘immersion’ and ‘community animator’ concept for understanding in-depth impact of ICTs on the women and their families. The updates were posted on the ictPR website as well as field notes apart from posting notes on the forum.
The Foundation developed over 654 self-paced, interactive multi-media empowerment and skills development CDs. In-built evaluation procedures were integrated in the CDs. The CDs ranged from health, nutrition, life-skill topics; apart from empowerment; rights, duties and responsibilities of the women; life skills, adolescence, confidence-building and personality development. Consolidating on the ‘innate’ design, arts, crafts and workmanship most people including those of Seelampur possess; the project deployed over 40 different skills and vocational modules ranging from tailoring, embroider, candle making, liquid soap, management of courier and tiffin centres, stationary items, paper bags etc. The Foundation enabled formation of the Self-Help Groups after the women had completed the learning on the modules. Multi-stakeholder workshops were conducted for exploring mutual synergies and linkages.
The Foundation also started the process of identifying commercial opportunities for the beneficiaries of the project. Participation in various exhibitions, events apart from direct marketing of the arts and crafts produced by Seelampur women was organized. A portal www.seelampurmart.org has been set up for the marketing of Seelampur arts, crafts and services. Payment gateway, fulfillment, order servicing have been activated.
Apart from multi-media CDs; UNESCO and NIC local community browser eNRICH enrich.nic.in a generic, customizable, web-based solution designed to facilitate Seelampur women’s knowledge and communication requirements on their own, without requiring any special technical skills. Seelampur women were able to quickly build their own gateway website, enriched with their own local content.
The Seelampur CMC has successfully demonstrated forging of a diverse, multi-sectoral, multi-specialty Multi-stakeholder Platform (MSP) for public good. Despite the heterogeneous nature of partners; keen desire to deploy and implement successful ICT4 Development models in public interest has enabled below partners,apart from the Datamation Foundation & the Babool-ulm-Madadrsa to work together on the project:
- --Microsoft: Microsoft has tested Hindi Operating system amongst the Seelampur community and used test results for their product development.
- --CISCO: CISCO is in the process of commencing their basic networking and advanced hardware maintenance program for the Seelampur Community.
- --One World South Asia (OWSA): The Seelampur Site is a OWSA Open Knowledge Network (OKN) partner. As OKN hub, the Datamation Foundation in partnership with the local communities has been producing and disseminating vibrant, innovative local knowledge pieces via printed newsletters, web-sites, cinema slides, radio jingles and short films.
- --Govt. of India and the Govt. of Delhi : The Govt. of India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s PNDT Cell’s initiative on controlling sex selection abortions and campaign against female foeticide is being implemented from the Seelampur CMC. The Govt. of Delhi is also a very important stakeholder in this process.
Information on various welfare schemes of the Govt. of Delhi and Govt. of India such as registration of the Life & birth, Property Taxes, Admissions for the distance learning education programs conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Gets accessed and processed at Seelampur CMC.
- --National Informatics Centre (NIC): The local community browser Enrich developed by the NIC has been successfully deployed at the Seelampur. The Enrich serves the local information needs effectively apart from providing localized inter-community and intra-community information networking opportunities.
- --Networking opportunity for the local Artisan Groups and individual Artisans has been rendered from the Seelampur Mart(www.seelampurmart.org)
After successful operation of one year; the CMC is now being run as a commercial Tele-Centre for rendering commercial services viz. typing, DTP, printing, binding, internet surfing and email.
- Primary sector of ICT4D Project :Women’s Empowerment.
- Secondary sector of ICT4D Project : Livelihoods.
- Project Coverage Area : Seelampur-Zaffrabad is spread over 20 kms. and has a population of over 6.8 lacs.
- Services contemplated: Empowerment, vocational and skills development with the help of ICTs; practical demonstrations, consultations for improving product design; marketing services for the women with the help of SHG formation. E-Commerce has been facilitated viawww.seelampurmart.org
- Target Group:Minority Muslim women
- Project start date : March 2003.
- Number of years Project has been running Over two and a half years.