Year 2010-2011

Chanderi Wireless Community Network

Year: 2010-2011

Funded by: The Internet Society (ISOC), Media Labs Asia (MLAsia), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Govt of India

In 2010, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) and the Internet Society (ISOC) established the first wireless network in Chanderi district of Madhya Pradesh aiming to provide a holistic, community-empowered approach to connecting rural communities to the Internet. The main goal of this initiative is to revive the dying handloom craftwork of Chanderi and subsequently influencing the social as well as the economic sustainability of the poor weavers in that locality to make them self-reliant through established wireless connectivity.

The motivation for the W4C project is twofold – firstly to totally democratize the availability of connectivity and enable access to information at the will of citizens outside urban centres – and remote rural areas in particular; second is to address the lack of content, product and services originating from rural areas which affects the economy from percolating to the bottom of the pyramid. Pervasive connectivity will ensure that localized content and services are not only encouraged but also facilitated and produced – the sum of which will contribute linguistic and cultural diversity, help build the rural economy and bring the next billions online.

Specific objectives

  1. Establishing the Chanderi Weavers ICT Resource Centre (CWIRC) to serve as a self-sufficient community information resource centre
  2. Setting up a model wireless community network and distributing the internet connectivity
  3. Reviving the handloom craftwork of Chanderi using digital mediums
  4. Enabling digital literacy amongst weavers

Impact

  1. Setting up of a model wireless community network in Chanderi
  2. Provided smooth network connectivity in the town for better access
  3. Enhanced Internet connectivity at schools
  4. Enabled easy accessibility of information available online
  5. Created a positive environment for Internet access and use
  6. Connected public institutions, such as panchayats and aanganwadis, to the Internet