By Digital Empowerment Foundation
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. We believe that the mere availability of digital tools and Internet connectivity alone does not make a village smart; instead, it is the integration and optimum utilisation of these resources for social, ecological and economic impact that truly makes a smart village, and digitally strengthens six pillars of development.
The concept of Smartpur emerges from the underlying idea of integrating technology in the existing practices, processes and enabling the people of the community to make their lives better and contribute to the overall well-being of the village.
Covering a total of 100 villages across India, the project reached 200,000 beneficiaries directly. The continued support of the ground team has been praise worthy.
All the locations had camps and activities under the four pillars. The governance camp facilitated the enrollment in government schemes and entitlements. The finance camps encouraged the community towards digital financial inclusion. Similarly, educational camps for the STE(A)M learnings and career counselling. Health being one major pillar also helped the community to learn various healthy day to day practices and promoted telemedicine consultation. Community mobilisation and Advisory Committee were also the driving activities which kept the community updated about the changes in the program.
A yearly refresher workshop was conducted in the month of June 2022. The whole of the Smartpur team from different states gathered to learn and unlearn new practices pertaining to professional and social life.
The journey of Smartpur has been an amazing process in itself where the unconnected of the last mile were connected. Communities in the villages have now access to the entitlements and schemes of the government, they are aware of the rights that the constitution has bestowed on them. Youth and children are gaining access and knowledge to digital and financial literacy. STE(A)M classes have gained momentum across all the villages of the project.
With the beginning of another amazing year, Smartpur will continue to work for the upliftment of the unconnected and make the digital ecosystem safe.