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Major Inititatives

Some major initiatives undertaken by the Foundation are:


Project:


Advocacy, Sensitization Campaign against Pre-Birth Elimination of Fetuses (PBEF)


The Foundation has played a leadership role in ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign. A portal dedicated towards this cause ‘www.indiafemalefoeticide.org’ was setup as a voluntary effort. The portal disseminates information about the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Termination (PNDT) amongst all stakeholders apart from sensitizing society about the gross violation of human rights. The portal endeavors to build capacities of health workers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Health Institutions apart from seeking net-based pledge for fighting “selective” sex tests and abortions. The portal is linked to relevant sites worldwide including that of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOH&FW), Government of India.

The campaign has been supplemented by advocacy interventions including dissemination of over six million e-mails worldwide; updates on the selective sex-tests campaign to the members of the List Serve. Offline strategies such as posters, handbills distribution at strategic locations and TV spots produced by our Media partner Leo Burnett have won laurels at the Cannes Film Festival.

Our work has been recognized by the Govt. of India’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology and the Ministry of Human Resources Development-Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) with the National E-Governance "Silver Icon" Award conferred under the Exemplary Leadership and ICT Achievement Category. Datamation's is one of the rare private, non-governmental initiative chosen for the second highest category of awards in the year 2005; in a galaxy of Govt. e-Governance Projects. http://www.darpg.nic.in/awards2004.asp

Economic Empowerment of the Marginalized and Disadvantaged

Datamation Foundation actively champions deployment of innovative ICT tools and capacity building solutions for vocational skills enhancement for the socially and economically disadvantaged women and youth most vulnerable to poverty and exploitation.


Apart from ensuring creation of mass-scale employment generation in the organized sector; the Foundation actively works towards creating livelihoods for the women and youth engaged in the vast, unregulated and hazardous informal sector of the economy. As part of this philosophy; the Foundation has been successful in putting ICTs in the hands of the minority women of the predominantly minority ghetto Seelampur-Zaffarabad in North East Delhi. The project is one of the chosen South-Asian UNESCO ICT for Poverty Reduction (ictPR) sites. The project aims training Muslim women in the application of ICTs for their income and vocational skills enhancement. The project envisions assessing social and economic impact of ICTs in improving the quality of their lives apart from empowering them economically.


http://www.centerdigitalgov.com/international/story.php?docid=92645


The Foundation’s tryst in the highly complex informal sector of the economy continues in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow and Kanpur. The infoDev, World Bank supported project intends helping the “chikan” embroidery weavers of Luck now and women engaged in informal, petty businesses in Kanpur. The project deploys hand held computers, computer-aided design (CAD) based embroidery technology, multi-media CDs over the cable network, narrow-cast transmission of content and local community cable internet. The market linkages between the producers and the buyers are facilitated extensively by the Datamation Foundation by holding buyer-producer meets, exhibitions, sampling, cataloging, ICT enabled internet marketing, fulfillment and quality control.


Reaching the “Un reached” Communities in India

The Foundation understands the challenges raised by the Information age and constantly researches, documents, deliberates, designs and implements innovate ways of bridging the digital divide.


One such initiative is the UNESCO supported pilot project on enhancing penetration of the ICTs amongst the “Un reached” strata. Datamation Foundation has been facilitating the goal of sustainable livelihoods in the information age by helping set up of Information Kiosks (IKs) and Community Multi-Media Centres (CMCs). Local Govt. authorities, Private sector institutions work in partnership with the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of the “Un reached” towards setting up and running of the IKs and CMCs. Thes project aims to reach out to below in different parts of the country:


Politically and economically “Disfranchised” communities.

Old widows abandoned by their families.

Devdasis’ - sex workers bound by religious traditions.

Unemployed youth

Tribals


Village Information Centres (VICs)


The Foundation has established grass-root level multi-purpose VICs in few Panchayats across the country. The VICs partner actively with the local Govt. run programs such as “Akshya” of the Kerala State IT Mission (Mallapuram District) and Rajasthan (Jaipur District) IT Department provide information and retrieval services to the rural communities apart from building their capacities in vocational skills enhancement. Local content development is one of the key goals at the Datamation Foundation. The delivery of the local content in all form—digital, audio, video—deploying large number of innovative ICT delivery tools gets facilitated through VICs. The purpose of the VICs is to use locally appropriate technology and services for enabling:

--Greater and more affordable access to Govt., business and social services for village residents.

--A proven, sustainable business model for information and communications technology in rural areas.

--Socio-economic development and poverty reduction in villages, particularly for the women and disadvantaged groups.

--Market development opportunities for small, medium and large Indian businesses


Capacity Building Programs


Datamation Foundation partners with a large number of Voluntary Groups and Govt. organizations for implementing ICT enabled advocacy, sensitization and capacity building programs. The Foundation has undertaken these ICT capacity building programs of women and youth groups in remote areas of India apart from other developing countries. Few recent initiatives include ICT training programs delivered for the Afghani and West African women.

Datamation Foundation has been mandated by the WSIS-GC (World Summit on Information Society- Gender Caucus) to launch advocacy campaigns focusing on gender and youth. WSIS advocacy campaigns aim at knowledge sharing and capacity building amongst various stakeholders of the Information Age. Datamation Foundation in partnership with the UN ICT Task Force, Development Gateway Foundation (www.development gateway.org), Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and a large number of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Academic Institutions is implementing a series of WSIS intervention and programs in the South-Asian Region.


‘Dhoop-Chandan’ – Abandoned Widows Upliftment Program :


There are over 33 million widows in India. In large parts of the country about one-third widows get to share the hearth of their kith and kin. The widows get abandoned usually in religious places. Brindavan part of Lord Krishna’s “karma-bhoomi” has been one of the place for the dumping of the widows. Starving and living in utter neglect, despair and in sub-human living conditions; the life of the widows of Brindavan is one of utter misery and despair. The Foundation has adopted 120 widows living at the Vedic Sanatan Dharm Vriddha Mahila Kalyan Sansthan, Brindavan. The Foundation ensures basic sustenance for the widows by providing food and basic necessities month after month.


Additionally the ICT intervention has ensured providing photo ID card to every widow to help provide them a sense of identity and self-esteem. The Foundation has been lobbying with the local district administration to recognize ID Card as an official proof of identity for the widows for delivering basic services and pensions.


NET WORKING AND SUPPORT


The Foundation is committed to synergize its work with the international development agencies and donors, like-minded Central Society Organizations (CSOs) apart from the Govt. towards attainment of its objectives. Support from donor agencies, Private sector apart from the Community in general shall provide the Foundation enormous motivation and strength to forge ahead with the implementation of our initiatives.


Donations to support Datamation Foundation’s gender initiatives including facilitating “right” of the girl-child to be born; education for the girl child apart from ICT training, vocational skills development and facilitating livelihoods for various socially and economically disadvantaged sections of the society shall be appreciated. All donations are tax exempt under section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961. Income Tax Exemption Certificate# DIT(E)/2002-2003/D-902/02/2548. The donations may be sent in form of cheques/demand drafts drawn in the favor of “Datamation Foundation Charitable Trust” or may be directly credited to the bank account of the Foundation details of which may be provided to you upon request.


Project Name

“Save the Girl Child” advocacy, sensitization, action campaign against Pre-Birth Elimination of Female Foetus (PBEF) and selective sex abortions.

Partners:


The campaign against Pre-Birth Elimination of the Foetus (PBEF) forms part of the coalition group set up by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Some active members of coalition are:

--UNIFEM

--UNFPA

--UNHCR

--UNICEF

--BBC World Wide

--Population Council of India

--Registrar General of India responsible for the processing of the population Census Results in India

--Netherlands Govt.

--Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

--Plan International

--CEDPA


We were able to reach out to a large number of people from the civil society as well as from the medical community by being part of the wider coalition and network. Yet a significant part of our work has been delivered in isolation by the application of innovative ideas and technologies.


Partners’ role


The implementation of any intervention via a group of partners, supporting agencies, needs lot of coordination, time, serious work and perseverance. We learnt a very hard way that it is very difficult to build consensus across a cross-spectrum of stakeholders and necessarily “common interests on issues” does not generate consensus as well as a common action-plans. Yet for socially relevant issues such as selective sex-determination and foeticide, it is imperative to build a consensus as well as a uniform approach so that there is no duplication of any effort. It is also necessary to seek firm views of the stakeholders as well as the donors on the content proposed to be set-up in the public domain; otherwise there is a conflict of interest with some of the stakeholders.


For example, at the site www.indiafemalefoeticide.org, we have been constantly reminded by the women’s group such as UNIFEM, UNFPA, CEDPA, Population Council that we ought to be placing our content approved by them since they would not like the site to preach any form of anti-abortion nor infringe on the woman’s natural right to resort to abortions for spacing her children.


Another aspect of filing of complaints against the errant radiologists, ultra-sound machines as well as members of the medical community; does not enjoy 100% support amongst all stake holders since many people believe action against any radiologist would affect consumers natural rights of getting a cost-effective radiology test done for their medical needs. However our impassioned belief (even though we understand that the genuine needs of a medical consumer are getting compromised due to registration of the ultra-sound machines) in the issue of female foeticide enabled us to develop common ground and consensus amongst the stakeholders.


Working on a sensitive public health issue of utmost national interest in partnership with the Govt. of India has been an enormous learning and networking experience by itself. Due to prevalent corruption at the level of the District health authorities and the Chief Medical Officer’s; a large number of consumers would not have been able to gain an access to the information on the competent authorities as well as on the erring medical community members.


Describe the project:


The Datamation Foundation has been deeply concerned by the declining sex ratios in various parts of the country. Specifically the ratio of the girl child compared to the boys in the age group of 0-6 age group in the last ten years since the last census (from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001) has been declining significantly in almost all parts of the country.


The Foundation’s Founder Chetan Sharma extensive research concluded female foeticide as one of the main reasons for the abandonment of the female foetus. The Foundation has been actively championing and advocating complete ban and penal action against selective sex tests. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India has appreciated the work of Datamation Foundation in this regard .


In order to help accomplish above objectives; an advocacy, sensitization and educational campaign was initiated to help improve the sex-ratios in the affected areas of the country. The web site www.indiafemalefoeticide.org was launched with the technical inputs from UNICEF, UNFPA, Population Council, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Govt of India), Plan International.


The objectives of the www.indiafemalefoeticide.org are :


*Sensitize the Indian society about the sex selection tests and the impending gender crisis. Advocate to the society about greater gender equity.

**Increase awareness about the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Act (PNDT), 1994 as well as its recent amendment passed by the Parliament that bans any form of sex selection tests

**Sensitize the society about the pitiable state of women in the Indian society of which selective sex abortion of the female foetus is one of the indicators apart from increasing incidences of violence and trafficking.

**Increase compliance amongst the maternity homes, nursing homes, ultra-sound clinics, radiologists for registering their ultra-sound machines under the PNDT Act

**Sensitize the medical community about the ethics of medical profession and the role they ought to be playing in improving the population crisis as well as sex-ratios in the country

**Build a dialogue amongst the stakeholders as well as track inter-generational change amongst the women through various generations

**Highlight achievements of the successful women from different strata of the society as well as from different walks of life

** Make technical materials and resources available to all stakeholders online

**Build E-Governance modules that can help identify ultra-sound clinics, nursing homes carrying our illegal sex determination tests. Towards this end; complete database of the ultra-sound machines, nursing homes is available online at the website. The complaints can be lodged by anyone against Doctors performing illegal sex tests. Once a complaint gets filed, the competent authority takes over automatically the investigation of the complaint and attempts to bring the culprits to book under the PNDT Act.


Result of the project


Till date more than 2000 complaints against the errant Maternity homes, Ultra-sound clinics indulging in illegal sex-tests have been received at the site www.indiafemalefoeticide.org The complaints received have enabled the Govt. to take action against this errant clinics and ban sex tests conducted by them.


(a) People and Community from the urban areas : Extensive awareness and capacity building has been facilitated the use of internet and net-telephony. Till date we have advocated to over 8 million people world wide on the selective sex tests and PBEF by sending emails.

(b) Rural people not enjoying Internet access have been targeted through Internet radio and internet video. Besides our staff and volunteers have been going to the rural areas to educate the people about this crisis; using a portable computer mart called a “computer thela” which is taken to the Panchyat level for the dissemination of information about the site.

A separate list serve for the Women’s groups as well as for the Medical community has been running successfully for last 2 years.

The strategy and the communications for both segments identified above are distinct.

(d)The Youth are targeted via Internet centers and cyber cafes by pasting posters on the web sites at appropriate locations. The posters are also put near the private hospitals and the nursing homes

(e) The Parliamentarians as well as the Lawmakers are targeted by providing e-newsletters.

An extensive off-line as well as on-line strategy as below has been implemented to spread awareness about the portal and enhance web traffic:

A 30 second TV spot has been produced in support of the Datamation Foundation’s work in advocating ban on the PBEF, by the leading Media and Advertising Agency Leo Burnett Associates. This TV spot also draws the attention of the viewers to the “Millions Of Girl Children Being Abandoned In India Every Year” apart from telling them about the www.indiafemalefoeticide.org

The email broadcast successively carried out by us for last several years has also enhanced the traffic substantially to the site

The listserv and other civil society members also draw the attention of the community and the people to the portal

The off-line strategy towards disseminating knowledge about the web-site includes radio-jingles of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India that carry the portal reference apart from advocating the equal rights of a girl child

Posters have been printed to spread awareness about the portal and a large number of posters have been pasted in the close proximity of the nursing homes, maternity homes and hospitals. This is meant to draw the attention of the pregnant women and more importantly the families of the pregnant women towards the web site and any one can lodge complaint about any nursing home or maternity home involved in selective-sex abortions.

Lessons learned and advice:

The Foundation has endeavored to apply innovative ICT enabled strategies to help accomplish goals of advocacy, knowledge sharing, and partnership building and information dissemination against the “Pre-Birth elimination of the fetuses (PBEF).

The project conclusively establishes the role of ICTs even in combating centurial old dogmas and social practices. We are already seeing enormous knowledge across the country about this issue apart from booking a large number of ultras-sound clinics and radiologists engaged in illegal sex-tests.

Clearly the issue of selective sex determination tests and abortions of the girl child; is a very sensitive issue and affects the destiny of India. Consequently, we have managed to create new bench-marks in the arena of ICT led propagation of human rights for the girl child as well as for the women’s groups, social-marketing and awareness creation as below:

Reaching out to the civil society and to the medical community, decision-makers and lawmakers via Email broadcast campaign has been accomplished in a very short span of time

Creating awareness about the depleting female population in the country has been accomplished since the site has data of the girl vs. boy ratio of all districts across the country

We have managed to set several new E-governance procedures by initiating a complaint lodging system at the site for the erring medical community, district level competent health authorities

We have provided a platform for the volunteers and for the NGOs to facilitate exchange of information, knowledge sharing as well as disseminate publicity material over the Internet cost effectively. For e.g. the NGOs can host their material voluntarily and download the information for use in their work.

The Internet has become cost-effective for the screening of the film on female foeticide as well as for the playing of songs and jingles. The songs and jingles are on women empowerment as well as on the status of the girl child in the Indian child.

The site has emerged as a platform for all stakeholders to forge unity amongst them in their approach to combat female child abortions. More importantly the stakeholders can exchange and disseminate information on the legal aspects of this issue. A weekly communication has been sent to the listserv of all interested parties and stakeholders. A large number of medical practitioners and doctors are also a part of this listserv apart from women’s groups, NGOs and other civil society members.

Lastly, the site extols Indian women who have served as exemplary role models. The site has pictures of medieval Indian Queens who fought for the Indian Independence to the current era of Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi and several other celebrated Indian women. Consequently the site helps improve the perception of the Indian women in the society and encourages the Indian women to be a bread-earner, homemaker as well as a decision-maker.

Future implementation strategies for the Foundation’s work in PBEF:

**Consolidate the knowledge and resource sharing mechanism amongst the stakeholders, women’s groups, international development agencies as well as donors

**Consolidate community radio and video channels as well as actively seek to disseminate knowledge in areas having worst sex ratio about the gender equity, PNDT Act, economic empowerment of the women as well as equality for the women in the work place. The dissemination will be implemented by adopting innovative community based communication strategies such as usage of mobile vans for showing the films, portable computers with big-screens and an internet access for showing the internet radio as well as video, Interactive Video Recording Systems (IVRS)

**Establish four new channels in the portal such as:

--Channel on Medical ethics as well as perspective of the Medical community on PBEF and sex selective tests. We would like to feature views and opinion of the practitioners across the country about the PBEF, medical ethics and progress on the implementation of the PNDT Act, registration of the ultra-sound machines across the country on nationwide basis

--Channel on inter-generational change experienced by families.

--Dialogue amongst the parliamentarians as well amongst the elected representatives of the people, lawmakers, judiciary, health administrators, health policy-makers and health practitioners so that there is constant exchange of information and data amongst the interested stakeholders.

--Training and Human resources channels are proposed to be propagated through the web site by the active exchange and sharing of the resources


Development aspects of the project (or potential):

The gender crisis occurred in India during a decade that witnessed a marginal improvement in the skewed ratio of females to males in the adult Indian population (from 927 to 933:1000), the sudden fall in the number of girls in the youngest age group is believed to be proof of the increased incidence of sex selective abortions—or female feticide—following sex determination through the abuse of medical technologies such as ultrasound scanning and amniocentesis.


The most dramatic drop in the child sex ratio has taken place in the states of—Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh—all located in Northern India, Gujarat and Maharashtra—from Western India; as well as Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh—from Southern India. Clinics specializing in sex determination and sex-selective abortions have been in existence for the past several decades. The malaise is no longer confined to above states; and they have now mushroomed all over the country.


Sadly the medical community as well as the equipment manufacturers is governed only by commercial considerations and greed; and are not bothered about the gender crisis engulfing the country. .

The ultra-sound scan machines have been proliferating in several hundred small towns across the country. This is indicative that they are being used for sex determination. The sex-selective abortions are also highly profitable for the medical community. The Doctors and the authorities do not get any legal or punitive action that is stymied through political pressure as well as by bribing the local police authorities and the law enforcement agencies.

Datamation Foundation on its own voluntary initiative launched a major ICT intervention to help prevent of female feticide in India. Information Technology has changed the communications paradigm forever. No longer it is difficult to outreach a large number of people more or less at the same time; and that too enable them to respond, interact as well as obtain a copy of the information within a low-cost.

In the absence of ICTs other communications medium be it print or electronic are very expensive. Other media also lack mass-scale reach and penetration, which ICTs can ensure within a very low cost and that too at an unprecedented speed. The portal has given a voice to the helpless people and to the civil society to gain immediate access to:

The competent authorities that are supposed to punish the criminals engaged in the selective sex determination and abortions

Registered radiology and ultra-sound machines that perpetrate this crime day after day

We have learned how to network effectively with the Central Government as well as with the district health authorities as well as sensitise them about the crime they are abetting; and in the process we have managed to accomplish new milestones for the Save the Girl Child campaign

Project Name

Media Development Course (UNESCO)


Datmation Foundation is a non profit ngo which works in Delhi and the other parts of India for the focused issue of women and youth empowerment. Foundation has been supported by various international partners for its noble work. UNESCO, Queensland Technical University, Australia, Adleide University, Australia, Microsoft, World Bank and many other multistakeholders helped the Datamation for its vision. Currently Datamation Foundation has been working on the women & youth of Seelampur site for their entire empowerment. This project is run in the Seelampur in association with UNESCO, QUT, Australia, and Australian Research Council. The main theme of the project is to do the empowerment of the people and the poverty alleviation of the area. With the help of Ethnographic action research foundation could recognize the socio-cultural cum economical demands of the area. Foundation opened an ICT center with local partner madarsa Babul Uloom at Jafrabad to train the marginalized women for vocational trainings & life skills by using the concept ICT (Information, Communication & Technology). Many girls and women came out from their shell and learnt basic computer courses, embroidery, stitching, cutting & tailoring etc there. Later on after learning the mentioned courses women started doing jobs outside or even in local areas for income generation.


Now a days the Datamation Foundation has introduced a new art of income generating by incorporating Media & Technology in the slums of Seelampur. This art is known as Digital storytelling, which used to be a digital film of approximately two and half minute. “Digital story telling” is a unique concept of engaging the people for a creative work which even provides them a platform to do advocacy of their unheard issues and it also helps them to generate income. The concept was introduced by UNESCO in association with Datamation in Seelampur. Many workshops have been conducted to train the people in DST learning for income generation. Its replication has been done in Juvenile jail at Kingsway camp, Delhi and even in Stree shakti camps, organized by Social welfare department, Delhi. Ms Sarita Sharma is the Managing Trustee & Mr. Chetan Sharma is the founder trustee of the foundation whose endless efforts could do a lot for the various communities up to now.

(A newspiece about the initial workshops of DSTs, uploaded on the website of UNESCO and was translated to French and Spanish for the larger outreach.)


About Digital Story telling (DST)


Digital story telling is an approach that combines oral storytelling with digital media technologies. It’s a structured process which narrates personal testimonies of the people. Ideally it supposed to be the best of about 3 minute duration. It’s a fine art of incorporating personal narratives with creative documentation through combining technology. Images, Sound & text give it a form of a small documentary or short film. It can be screened through computers, projectors, televisions or webs. The storyteller who is even less educated can do production of digital story by taking responsibilities for writing, recording and editing.


DST works in people’s life through


  • Life skills development
  • Better understanding for the current happening in local society
  • Income generation
  • Peace making
  • Making Healthy environment for better life style
  • Preserving the dying local art,literature,culture and ethics
  • Giving them voice to fight for their rights
  • Linking them directly with Media, Corporate world, Govt & Non Govt. Sectors, Multimedia-IT sectors, Advertizing etc.
  • Reflecting their personal issues and stories relevant to their lives
  • Improving personality and communication skills
  • Exploring and experimenting with more digital technology for learning and sharing across the globe
  • Globalization of localization

Aims & Objectives of the DST formation


  • Disseminate issue oriented information through DST to different target groups as a means of addressing the problems of society
  • Adopt innovative means of information sharing & capacity building by DST production & dissemination
  • Influence policy makers & civil society about the various issues of the society
  • Cultivate mutually beneficial networking relationship with multistakeholders

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 (http://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 via www.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.

Project Implementation


  • Services actually provided: Educational and skills development training; vocational skills enhancement and basic literacy. Marketing linkage services have been rendered by organizing exhibitions and events apart from facilitating E-Commerce via www.seelampurmart.org

  • Category of basic Computing implemented in the Project : Client Server architecture, hand held computers, scanners, printers. Significantly Plotter for facilitating CAD to enable sharpened project designs is contemplated. Design tablets have been provided as well.

  • Category of basic Data Communication implemented in the Project : Cable internet access.
  • Type of software tools utilized: Local community browser Enrich, skills development multi-media CDs, Design tools.
  • Innovation if any deployed in the Project : First ever organized attempt for ICT diffusion in the area reaching out to the Minority community; apart from formation of the women’s SHG and linking them to markets are some innovations apart from extensive use of local content development for skills development.
  • Technology Model : CAD and local community browser driven; Clients and Hand held computers.
  • Business Model : Initial resources have been committed by UNESCO and Datamation; however the project leverages on the skills, competence of the local women by channelizing these into income generation opportunities.
  • Beneficiaries :

Metrics and Impact

  • Impact assessment of the project: Several universities have carried out Impact assessment studies including One World South Asia, Development Gateway, Outlook Magazine and Indian Express.
  • Findings of the evaluation and impact assessment studies : ICTs have had a cascading effect on the lives of the women of Seelampur apart from their families in not only empowering them and building their self-esteem, confidence but also in enabling to enjoy better quality of life.

Conclusion

  • Sustainability, if any demonstrated by the project : With the help of Tele Centre income, sales proceeds of the SHGs selling their arts and crafts apart from the fee paid by the women; the project is sustainable.
  • Replicability, if any demonstrated by the project : The project is being replicated in few other parts of the country as well as abroad with the help of participating Islamic Learning Institutions.
  • Project Documentation available if any : www.datamationfoundation.org

www.unesco.org

  • Lessons learnt from the Project and Conclusions: Seelampur project is a step forward in a globalized world for the women from a poor community trying to find their rightful place. Deploying a multi-pronged ICT enabled empowerment and skills enhancement strategy; the project has provided an opportunity for the women to interact with the external world and come in direct contact with the ultimate buyers of their products.

Business Facilitation Centers (MFCs) in the National Capital Region:

We have established 10 MFCs in the under-served areas of the National Capital Region viz. Seelampur-Zaffarabad, Trilokpuri, Khichripur, Chilla Village, Ballimaran. Some of these sites are the UNESCO ICT for Poverty Reduction (ictPR) sites.More than 5,000 women have been served, and the Project was awarded by the Govt. of India National e-Governance award 2005.


1. Activities done


Project Name: IT Education for Women and Children

CMC Center-Khichripur (Delhi)

During the year 2002 in association with Chetanalaya, the Datamation Foundation has established an IT Education Center in East Delhi at Trilok puri, Block-12. Now it has been shifted to Block no-5, House no-95, Khichripur. From starting to till date 1190 students have passed out after completing their training successfully.

In financial year 2011-12

105 students have successfully completed their training in which 22 students got the job like data entry operator and computer operator etc.

Project Name: Microsoft Unlimited Potential

Vocational Training & Capacity Building Programme for weaker section of society, the Foundation running 25 Centers in rural areas of two districts (Lucknow and Kanpur) in Uttar Pradesh. The basic computer literacy program, internet cum desk top publishing training is being given to learners. The objective of the project to literate the youth in computer education for empowerment of most marginalized society.

Project Name: Community Health Center (2007 to Till Date)

Community Health Center At Katri (Kanpur Nagar District) for Uttar Pradesh Health System Development Project (U.P. Govt.) funded by World Bank

Implementation of the Innovative Health Scheme initiative of the World Bank; on behalf of the U.P. Health Systems Development Scheme, Datamation Foundation has setup a Health Center for providing Primary Health Services to the villagers at Katari. Villagers from 4 other villages are also being benefited through this program.

We have set up health post in village Kakori Gram Ghatampur with the help of UPHSDP. At the health post we primarily try to create awareness of all the diseases especially seasonal diseases. We organize camps on different physical problems at different villages too. Mother and child care is our prime program so we mark pregnant ladies and do the advocacy of them as well as their families. We distribute Iron tablets to them to fight against anemia. Inoculate them with tetanus vaccine then lady doctor and nurse with anum and trained D.W. help them to get secure delivery. If there is some serious case then we refer them to city hospital by our resources. After the birth of babies we take responsibilities of their vaccination. To enhance family planning program we organize camps in different villages too and distribute family planning means like condoms and contraceptive pills etc.

Project Name - Life Line India

1. Background

OneWorld South Asia (OWSA) office of OneWorld International Foundation (OWIF) and Datamation Foundation jointly implementing the collaborative project on “Soochana Se Samadhan” – Providing knowledge to the farmers through phone-based service. This joint initiative is bring OWSA and Datamation expertise together on ICT based solutions for enhancing the knowledge of farmers for better production and livelihood.

The service is based on an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), where in farmers can register their queries by dialing a number 022-39116000 through Field Coordinators (Ek Duniya Fellows) and agri-experts provide back the answers to these queries within 24 hours.

The service has actively been implemented in four states (HP, MP, UP and Haryana) covering more than 700 villages. The programme was implemented through a network of volunteers. These volunteers are the point of contact for using the services. These volunteers are known as Ek Duniya Fellows and facilitated the query generation using mobiles. The response has been very encouraging. Farmers have adopted the technical know-how of the service and are familiar with the whole process of utilizing this novel phone based service for getting solutions.

The current proposal firms up the engagement plan by proposing the following programme objectives to be jointly-undertaken by Datamation and OWSA. The implementation coordination will be taken up by the OneWorld South Asia Centre for OneWorld International Foundation.

Key Features of the Service

  • Expert advice helps farmers to improve input efficiency by encouraging integrated pest management (IPM) methods
  • Provides solutions to farmers within 24 hours.
  • Provide solution to more than 50 different fields of Agriculture and allied activities.
  • Agri-business model providing multiple services under one roof. The services include complete chain of information from Production to Consumption related to
    1. Input (seed, fertilizer and pesticide)
    2. Funding schemes
    3. Agri Government schemes on loans and subsidies
    4. Banking, Insurance
    5. Market prices
    6. Region specific market information
    7. Updated news on agriculture

About OWIF

OneWorld’s mission is “to harness the democratic potential of the Information and Communication tools to promote human rights and sustainable development”.

The aims of the OneWorld Network are:

1. To be an online media gateway which most effectively informs a global audience about human rights and sustainable development;

2. To bring together a global community working for sustainable development through active partnerships of organisations and individuals sharing OneWorld’s vision;

3. To transcend geographic and linguistic barriers in OneWorld’s work in particular to give a voice to those typically overlooked by mainstream media and policy-makers.

Each member of the OneWorld Network (www.oneworld.net) translates these strategic aims into operational plans based on an assessment of their local contexts.

OneWorld South Asia (http://southasia.oneworld.net) is the South Asian Centre of the OneWorld Network that aims to harness the democratic potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to promote human rights and sustainable development. OneWorld South Asia (OWSA) sees itself as a platform for development that complements global partnerships engaged in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), while actualising its commitment to the broader Millennium Declaration of the UN Millennium Summit.

Towards realisation of these goals, OneWorld South Asia (OWSA) has continuously been working towards building strong partnerships to position ICTs strategically towards promotion and strengthening the ‘Voices’ of the poor and marginalized on relevant issues. The partnership model is a core element, with partners from civil society organisations, private sector, government, as well as grassroots organisations and collectives, playing a crucial role in content facilitation, knowledge networking and joint information and communication initiatives.

Another integral part of the partnership effort is to build capacities of partner organizations in the use of ICTs for effective communication and pro-poor policy advocacy work. The success of OneWorld South Asia’s programmes is dependent on the synergies that OWSA and its partners build for achieving common development goals.

With a strong network of more than 750 organisations and individuals as partners, OWSA works to create formal and informal networks of people with common interests, and provides them with a platform to share knowledge and experiences relating to sustainable livelihood, education for empowerment, health, water and sanitation, combating epidemics, and promoting good governance.

Partnership Agreement

The overall purpose of this association is ICT based information and knowledge provision to farmers of rural India to solve their agriculture related queries which helps in improving their livelihood and thereby quality of life. OneWorld would provide the ICT based technical solution while Datamation would provide its grassroots experience and farmer's network to encourage farmers to use the service in achieving the above goal. The current proposal firms up the association of both the organizations to jointly undertake this project during the period 1st June 2008 to 31st March 2012.

Project Name: GENDER RESOURCE CENTER- SAMAJIK SUVIDHA KENDRA

During the year 2007 the Foundation has been awarded Gender Resource Center for Seelampur. This project launched at Seelampur North East District.

GRC-SSK is sequel to Stree Shakti Camp programme. The GRCs are envisaged as instruments to bring Social, Economic and legal empowerment of women particularly those belonging to the underprivileged sections of society.

Gender Resource Center at Jafrabad has been organizing various activities in the center for last few months. Different kinds of vocational trainings, such as Cutting & Tailoring cum Fashion Designing and Media Development including Basic CMC literacy program are being run in the center for the beneficiaries. Besides running vocational trainings, GRC also arranges Non Formal Educating classes for those women who are dropped out from the regular studies. Self Help Group’s meetings and Awareness programs related to Nutrition have also been organizing in the center.

GRC has own doctor (MBBS, GYNEA) for OPD in which free check up and medicine is given to beneficiaries. GRC has been organizing monthly health camp in a month. GRC has own nutrition expert for giving awareness about nutrition food to beneficiaries. GRC has also been implementing the welfare schemes of Govt. of NCT of Delhi.

Project Name: Technical Education Community Outreach Scheme (TECOS)

During the year 2008 the Foundation has been awarded TECOS for Seelampur by Department of Training and Technical Education, Government of Delhi.

The aim of the TECOS is to deliver training programmes for uplifting the quality of life of the target group of persons by enabling them to gain self /wage employment. Further this scheme has the following subsidiary objectives:

  • Support models of Training and Technical Education for service delivery through local communities, in a manner which increases access to services and support for community participation;
  • Build self reliance and commitment for Training and Technical Education at a community and personal level, through development of stakeholder networks and self help initiatives;
  • Enable complementarities between the community and Training & Technical Education services, which ensure the continuity of services and efficiency in the use of local resources;
  • Assist NGOs in providing a range of priority Training and Technical education for enhancing the quality of citizen services and boosting the rate of economic growth.

Set up a Computer Center under Technical Education for Community Outreach Scheme (TECOS) in Seelampur located in extremely impoverished and backward Seelampur-Zaffrabad predominantly Muslim neighborhood in the fringes of North-East Delhi in May-2008. Average family size in the area is 8 to 10 and monthly family incomes range from Rs.4, 000-5,000. The objectives of establishing center in Seelampur for most marginalized community to access ICTs for unleashing their ‘latent’ communication need apart from a need to ‘creatively’ express themselves sustainable livelihoods enabled by ICTs.

Project Name: DRC (DISTRICT RESOURCE CENTER)

During the year 2008 the Foundation has been awarded District Resource Center for Geeta Colony (DC office, East District) by Samajik Suvidha Sangam (Mission Convergence) Govt. of NCT of Delhi. This project launched at Geeta Colony East District.

It is a District level structure of Mission Convergence (Samajik Suvidha Sangam) based at the office of the Deputy Commissioners of each district as 'front office' of the DC office, and act as a single window for the community for welfare entitlement/schemes. These lead interfaces between the community and the government departments, through the Deputy Commissioners and District nodal officers of the concerned departments, in consultation with GRC-Suvidha Kendras and DC office, and would give the beneficiaries a platform to discuss their grievances and seek immediate redressal.

These structures will also act as a Data base of knowledge and information on services, schemes and programmes of the Government and update it at regular intervals, disseminate information on various schemes and benefits through outreach and community mobilization.

The DMU/DRC is responsible for review and submission of completed forms with the help of GRC-Suvidha Kendras of their respective districts; for verification of the completed forms through the GRC-Suvidha Kendras; provide access to benefits of the schemes of different department through single E-entitlement card.

These DMU/DRC also monitor and collate the district level report for the performance of community based structures of Samajik Suvidha Kendras of their respective districts

Project Name: "Minority Education for Growth and Advancement - Skills for Youth" (MEGA-SkY)

During the year 2010 the Foundation has been awarded "Minority Education for Growth and Advancement - Skills for Youth" (MEGA-SkY). The Project began in August 2010 in Delhi and is funded by USAID for activities. The MEGA component of MEGA-SkY takes place within the context of growing efforts by key stakeholder groups to provide Muslim children with access to quality education environments in Madrasas and Schools. Widespread poverty, language barriers, and social discrimination prevent many poor Muslim children from enrolling in formal schools or lead to their early dropout. In addition, education provided is not often adequate to make them employable. Therefore, improving quality educational opportunities for Muslim children is high on the government agenda.

Goal:

Provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged minority students, 6-18 years of age, particularly Muslin students in four states with special emphasis on getting girls mainstreamed into the nation’s formal education system.

Objectives:

To improve the quality of formal education offered in informal schools teaching children of disadvantaged minority communities.

To create a favorable environment for minority children, especially girls, in regular schools to enable them to complete their schooling with dignity.

To offer access to quality education to minority children through alternative non-formal options.

To link the education provided to marginalized children with livelihood opportunities through skills training and pre-vocational interventions.

To create an environment of collaboration among organizations working in minority education and establish linkages with government schemes.

ACE Approach:

To realize these goals, MEGA follows an approach centered around: Access, Communications & Excellence (ACE)

Access:

MEGA-SkY Access component focuses on a set of demand-led, community-level interventions to address critical factors related to access, enrolment and retention of muslim children through the following three activities:

1) Non-formal: For students that have dropped out of school before completing their elementary education, MEGA-SkY will work with its implementing partners at selected blocks to access elementary education – through community study centre called “Taraqqui Centres” that would provide them with sufficient levels of education to continue their quest for knowledge.

2) Formal: MEGA-SkY implementing partners would support Madrasas/Maktabs and community- based Schools using RTE provisions to add on additional students/grades and avail of teachers/resources to increase enrolment. Furthermore, MEGA-SkY partners through youth volunteers would provide after school / madrasa coaching support to weak muslim children to ensure no one lags behind and no one is dropping out.

Project Name: Maternal Health Services on Mobile (SmS-toolkit)-MHSM

It is an initiative since October 2009, to circulate vital information regarding Reproductive and Child Health related information services directly to the pregnant and lactating women through mobile phones, using localized SmS in Hindi. The project is implemented by Datamation Foundation Charitable Trust, a Community organization working in the domains of Health Care, Livelihood and education. The technical partners one world South Asia (OWSA) and Microsoft Research have built together a SmS toolkit that allows direct sending and receiving SmS from an ordinary PC or laptop at a very low cost. Project is implemented at 4 primary and 5 other neighboring villages of the Katari cluster in the Ghatampur block in Kanpur Dehat (Rural) District of Uttar Pradesh, India. The registration of pregnant women is done manually and the details are recorded on the Content Management System (CMS) and it automatically sends out 2 SmS alerts to the registered users at calculated time for 40 weeks during pregnancy. General healthcare information, nutrition, specific messages for ante-natal check-up, vaccines, iron folic supplements and movement of baby are delivered to the registered women during this phase. This mobile based health care project can directly influence the understanding of maternal Health services among rural population. Such communication through mobile with the masses can improve the health conditions of pregnant women leading to a healthy society.

Project Name: Awareness Programs on Consumer Education & Protection

During the year 2010-11 the Foundation has been awarded to conduct awareness programs on Consumer Education & Protection i.e. Seminar, Conference, Orientation Lecture for different groups. by Dept. of Food Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Govt. of National Capital Territory of Delhi

Main objectives of the project on Consumer Education, Awareness and Protection are:-

To give them knowledge about the relationship between Population and Demand & Supply of Goods as well as quality of the products.

To create awareness among the consumers (participants) and promote strong consumer movement.

To make the participants aware about the importance of Consumer Education, awareness, protection and their rights.

To give them awareness against spurious drugs polluted drinking water and impact on health aspects of the masses.

To make them conscious about Misleading Advertisements, Fake Trademarks, Adulteration, Low Quality Products & their impact on human beings.

To give them opportunity to participate in Discussion, Role Play & Slogan competition on related themes.

Apart from above projects the Datamation Foundation worked on following listed projects:

Project Name: Capacity Building Training Program

The capacity building training program provided to youth in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh State. This project funded by U.P. Mahila kalian Nigam LTD.

Project Name: Capacity Building Training Program

The capacity building training program provided to youth in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh State. This project funded by Lafarge India Private Limited (MNC).

Project Name: Capacity Building Training Program

The capacity building training program provided to women in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh State. This project funded by District Urban Development Agency (DUDA), Govt. of India.

Project Name: Implementation of Training Program

Under this project provided training and capacity building of Panchayti Raj Institution in three districts of Rajasthan. This project funded by State Water Resource Planning Department, Govt. of Rajasthan.

Since 2007 more than 7000 thousand women and children have been aware under GRC Project.

 
 
• To render all possible help and facilities to the under privileged and "un reached" by enabling them to realize their potential.

• To generate employment opportunities in the rural and areas for the "un reached" and economically and socially "disfranchised" by providing technological, social and administrative solutions for sustainable deployment of ICTs through Community Multi-Media Centers and Information Kiosks in an innovative way.

• To partner with various international development agencies, donors apart from private sector and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the deployment of innovate, "pro-poor" ICT solutions.

• To relentlessly pursue path-breaking objectives and programs targeted towards gender and youth in: --Violence against Women including trafficking, slavery bonded labor and dowry
 
 
  
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