Internet Roshni is a program of the Digital Empowerment Foundation and Internet Society Foundation. This program focuses on access and inclusion of the Tea Tribe and Adivasi Community in Assam. The Adivasi Community in Assam has one of the lowest social and economic indicators. The Covid-19 pandemic affected the community as the production and demand decreased so the wages became irregular. With no steady, sustainable, affordable access to the internet, digital resources, opportunities, and welfare announcements, the community is further excluded and now faces challenges for response, recovery, and resilience. With the current focus on shifting all information, and services digitally and online, the community needs major access and digital inclusion support and mainstreaming.
Among the unconnected communities across the world and India, the communities who have been traditionally working in Tea Gardens, are mostly tribals of various origins, and dialects and are remotely located, mostly unconnected from the power of information, knowledge, and rights. At DEF we are excited to finally get a chance to engineer a project that is designed to create a model to link the tea garden communities to the information world and knowledge economy.
The model is simple: identify a community leader, preferably a woman with entrepreneurial knack, train and capacitate her in all possible digital tools and linkages, give her connectivity to digital infrastructure, and means to empower at least 2,000 community members around her in one year.