Smartpur Immersion Annual Meet 2023

Smartpur is a digital village ecosystem, a project that is being implemented by Digital Empowerment Foundation and NOKIA. The project has its presence in Uttar Pradesh (Barabanki and Ghazipur), Haryana (Nuh), Rajasthan (Alwar and Bharatpur), Telangana (Choutuppal), Karnataka (Kollegal) and Andhra Pradesh (Vizag and Chirala). The project started back in 2018 in Nuh and soon, realizing its importance in the context of rural India, it expanded to other locations across the country.  

Smartpur- Journey in 2022!

Smartpur is a very proactive and large-scale project under DEF which also serves as a backhaul to many other new initiatives. Here is a glimpse into the journey of Smartpur in the year 2022. Smartpur is a model that has been conceptualised in a manner that challenges and redefines the existing idea of smart villages, which is based more on the availability of digital infrastructure but not as much on the integration of the infrastructure into the daily lives of people.

One centre – catering to many needs

Often a bit of attention, empathy and consideration goes a long way in clearing obstacles that might look petty for a few while for a few others their livelihoods are at stake. Smartpur centres have understood this through and through and hence enabling smoother access to welfare schemes.

Smartpur hub and spoke centres are points where people from different age groups avail services and find solutions to their problems. The different beneficiaries of Bharatpur hub and spokes narrate their enriching experience as to how the centre has been a point of troubleshooting for them.

Facilitating Access to Alternate Sustainable Livelihoods

According to experts, an estimated half a billion women still lack access to education and tens of millions of girls around the world are unable to access education and unlikely to enroll in school, thus hampering the overall growth and development of the girls. And yet, there is sufficient evidence to show that educated women create a ripple effect. We face huge inequalities in the education system of our country. Despite many policies and campaigns taken up by the government, young girls and women still lack access to basic education resulting in exclusion from employment opportunities.

District Administration Recognizes SoochnaPreneurs

Alam Khan got an Appreciation Certificate for his constant efforts in providing Covid 19 vaccination. He helped in mobilising 8,473 citizens along with interventions of other development partners. He was awarded by the Deputy Commissioner of Nuh district Mr Shakti Singh. Alam Khan was also awarded by Deputy Commissioner Mr Pankaj Kumar, IAS for the excellent work in registration of beneficiaries in PM-SYM (Pradhanmantri Shram Yogi Mandhan) at the highest level in the district of Nuh.

Refreshing the Vision, Mission and Skills of a SoochnaPreneur

Smartpur has been a very successful community centric initiative which has been very dynamic in the role it plays at the village level. The stories from the ground from this initiative motivate us to be more creative and bring about local sustainable solutions to bridge the digital gap. The Smartpur team is actively engaged with the beneficiaries and as part of reinforcing the vision of the project, a Refresher Workshop was conducted by the management team in Delhi. Pramod Verma, a SoochnaPreneur from Gazipur district of Uttar Pradesh provided a testimonial on his take on the workshop.

Smartpur Refresher Training 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced everything to go online and this has restricted the movement of people in the workplace and offline workshops and training have been put to a halt. The Smartpur team has not been able to meet physically since December 2019, when their last refresher training was conducted in Jaipur. The offline workshops and training sessions help the team to connect and grow, which is very limited in the online sessions. 

The Smartpur team had their three-day workshop from 23rd to 25th June 2022 in Bilaspur, Haryana. The team members were delighted to attend the three days power packed workshop. The Smartpur team from all the locations arrived in New Delhi on 22nd June and left for the training by 23rd June morning. The venue for the workshop was Park Inn by Radisson, Bilaspur.

Enriching Empirical Visit to Nuh

I have been travelling to Smartpur locations across the ten districts in India and this is a travelogue of my journey to the district of Nuh, Haryana where there are 10 Smartpur centres. Having connected with the district coordinator and the entrepreneurs of the ten centres on call I knew them, however, I was excited to meet them. Around 11 am, we reached the Nuh Hub centre, in Tain village. As a humble gesture we were welcomed by the Smartpur team there. I witnessed the hard work that the team has put in to gain the confidence of the community in Nuh. Initially when the Smartpur project started in Nuh the community was extremely critical and apprehensive about the initiative.

Don’t Ring the Alarm Bells

Parwada in Visakhapatnam is an industrial area; consequently, talks of industrial safety measures and fire hazards are frequent among its inhabitants. Ever since a fire broke out last year and claimed eleven lives, the frequency of such conversations has, understandably, increased. DEF believes that not only the workers at these factories, but also their children, should be provided with adequate information and made aware of safety measures so that they are able to help themselves and others. Therefore, DEF collaborates with the local government school and runs drills and practical workshops. Our Project Officer, Tiru Patel, is particularly engaged in and motivated to make sure that the children in Parwada gain practical knowledge, become aware of the circumstances around them and learn how to react appropriately.