IMPACT – Wireless for Communities


Phase I

The project was based in the Chanderi Weavers ICT Resource Center (CWIRC) in Chanderi in Ashok Nagar District of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. Chanderi can be best described as a rural town with an urban consciousness with more than 500 years of history of kings and invasions. Populated with 40,000 people, the town is largely habited by weavers and artisans. Around 3000 families have been occupied in weaving and handloom for their livelihoods. DEF has implemented the Center project and running it since 2009. The center provides ICT enabled environment and infrastructure for the weavers’ community to scale up their weaving skills and add value in their supply chain of designing and weaving along with other advantages.

  • Positive and encouraging impact in connectivity access by diverse set of user groups for knowledge, skill enhancement and livelihood   promotion
  • Impact in technical skill enhancement
  • Impact in generating a positive environment for Internet access and use

Phase II

  • The project expanded in other three locations – Tura, Baran, & Tilonia
  • Provided internet facility and connected 10 CIRC centers of Baran. Deployed 35 point-to-point nodes for a relay station that covers maximum 35 kms and minimum 10 kms;
  • Addressing the issue of content and services gap that obstructs local economy and pulls back social indicators; to address wireless technology skill gaps;
  • Provided Training of Trainers (ToT) in South Asian countries – Bhutan & Bangladesh
  • Initiating advocacy with the relevant public and private partners to propagate and adopt wireless technology as an unconventional solution to connect rural remote areas and communities with broadband connectivity and services on it.

Phase III
1. Established and deployed wireless mesh network in 3 rural community locations:

  • Giridih, Jharkand
  • Mandla, Madhya Pradesh
  • Nangaon, North Tripura

2. Provided wireless network set up and management training in 3 locations:

  • Giridih, Jharkhand
  • Mandla, Madhya Pradesh
  • Nangaon, North Tripura

3. Provided capacity building & training programmes in two phases

  • 6 Content & services trainees in 3 old & 3 new locations
  • 18 User Community based workshop – 3 workshops in each location

Phase IV

“Wireless Women for Entrepreneurship and Empowerment” programme boosts women ICT micro social enterprise and entrepreneurs supported by wireless Internet in 4 backward locations across India. The programme contributes towards an enabling Internet environment and Internet for gender inclusion and women empowerment. The programme aims at promoting Internet based social enterprise and entrepreneurship among women as change makers. The programme is supported by „Wireless for Communities (W4C)‟, a joint initiative of Digital Empowerment Foundation and Internet Society. The W2E2 programme has been launched in three districts of India in February 2014. The programme has been launched in Chanderi, Tura and Ranchi. 10 women have been identified from each of these districts and provided with basic IT tools to set up their entrepreneurship ventures. In the first phase of the programme, DEF identified 10 women who have skills and willing to work as an entrepreneur in their community. The programme focuses on their wholesome computer training and a consequent specialization in their desired industry. Ultimately, every woman entrepreneur will be assisted to initiate her own venture for community benefit under the W2E2 programme.

  • To boost traditional skills among women in cluster based environment and help reach market and achieve sustainability as a goal
  • To promote internet based social enterprise and entrepreneurship among women as change agents
  • To have internet and ICT for gender inclusion in social and economic empowerment.

Locations Covered

  • Ranchi (Jharkhand)
  • Chanderi & Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Tura (Meghalaya)
  • Baran (Rajasthan)

Activities undertaken in the project:
1. Women wireless internet/ICT based Micro entrepreneur and micro enterprise,
2. Skill development and capacity building of women entrepreneurs,
3. Connectivity & access through wireless internet and Mobile wireless Data Card.

Case Studies