Year 2017-2018

Zero Connect

Year: 2017-2018

Funded by: ISOC

Zero Connect is an innovatively designed initiative to bring broadband Internet connectivity from far flung locations to different parts of the Little Rann of Kutch, an unsurveyed piece of land that accounts for 37 per cent of the Gujarat’s total salt production through diverse wireless technologies. These technologies include line of site and unlicensed spectrum — via a specially designed vehicle that comes equipped with LCD screen, tablets, printer, rooftop solar panels, back up batteries, 5-metre tripod-based antenna tower with dish antenna. The dish antenna can rotate at 360 degrees and align with available broadband Internet tower at the periphery of the Little Rann of Kutch. As the van drives around the region, it reaches out to individuals, households, groups, schools, health centres and panchayat ghar (also known as village councils), among other institutions, providing digital literacy, digital services and access to wireless Internet connectivity.

Objective

This project aims to give the Agariyas a digital voice through which they will be able to communicate between communities as well the outside world. It will help mark their place on the map, bring them online, improve their access to citizen rights and information and help them be recognized for the role they play economically and environmentally

Impact

  1. Brought broadband Internet connectivity from far flung locations to different parts of Little Rann of Kutch through the use of diverse wireless technologies, line of site and unlicensed spectrum
  2. Introduced a mobile van equipped with laptops, tablets, an LCD screen, rooftop solar panels, backup batteries and an expandable tripod-based dish antenna to catch Internet connectivity from backhaul tower
  3. Provided the Agariya community (salt farmers) of Little Rann of Kutch a digital medium to communicate within and outside their community
  4. Connected as many as 17 Rann Shalas (or makeshift schools) to each other and with the Internet
  5. Provided tablets to children to access edutainment content online or pre-stored on the device
  6. Linked a health van run by nearest primary health centre to a district-level hospital to facilitate quality consultations via video calls
  7. Digitally mapped all the houses of the so-far unsurveyed community
  8. Established digital market linkages for the salt extracted in this region
  9. Facilitated access to government services and citizen rights

Target locations

Little Rann of Kutch, Manish Rann, Kharagodah Rann, Patadi and Surendrangar – Gujarat

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