From the category archives:

Bridging The Divide Rural India

The Progress Project

September 2, 2009

Tweet The Progress Project is the initiative set up by Nokia and Lonely Planet that is focused on capturing the human impact of mobile innovation; tackling social, environmental or economic challenges; bringing to life real stories of people through video. The site’s not fully live yet – I was told it will be up and […]

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The old, the not-so-old, and many facets of the new

August 31, 2009

Tweet I took this picture of Dhanaji Dongre, the farmer we visited during our Nokia Life Tools immersions, on my test N97 (which has a pretty cool camera but a lousy touch-screen esp. when compared to the iPhone). He is taking a picture of the crew on his own little camera phone, who in turn, […]

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“The Internet for the Next Million” – Mobile Innovations in Rural India

August 31, 2009

Tweet It’s how Natesh, Head of  Nokia Life Tools India describes the program – I like the realism when he uses ‘million’ and not ‘millions’ or ‘billion’! Alan Reiter, who was with us during our rural immersions has a great article on Life Tools – here’s an excerpt: Farmers view Dhanaji Dongre’s crops in Khandali, […]

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“Raju, go and get some bakery” – Mobile Innovations

August 30, 2009

Tweet Umesh Markat, a 9th grade school boy, shyly rattles off this line, quietly proud that he can actually string together a sentence in English! Another example of a sentence in English he shared with us – “Raja Ravi Verma is the best Indian artist”. In the picture below, taken by fellow-blogger Alan Reiter, Umesh […]

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Mobile Innovations

July 23, 2009

Tweet For a few days over the next two weeks, I’m going to be a “scribe” where I will visit with people who’s lives are being transformed through mobile innovations. This will be in rural Maharashtra and Kolhapur, and the two projects we are covering in India are Nokia Life Tools and Nokia Tej.  This […]

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New Round of Microgrants available for Rising Voices

November 6, 2007

Tweet Application Deadline: November 30, 2007 Rising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices, is now accepting project proposals for the second round of microgrant funding of up to $5,000 for citizen media outreach projects. Ideal applicants will present innovative and detailed proposals to teach citizen media techniques to communities that are poorly positioned to […]

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OLPC in India through Reliance Communications

October 13, 2007

Tweet This is great news! The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) has collaborated with One Laptop per Child (OLPC) foundation to bring the latter’s much-hyped $100 laptop to India to promote e-learning among poor children. Under this initiative, Reliance Communications (RCom) will provide Internet connectivity, network backbone, logistics, and support to the OLPC initiative. […]

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Rising Voices

July 5, 2007

Global Voices Online has announced the first five citizen media outreach projects to receive Rising Voices microgrants.

“The overwhelming response is a testament to the global enthusiasm for
citizen media that stretches from Southern Chile to rural Nigeria, from
a village in Mali without electricity to urban Mongolia; from an
orphanage in Ethiopia to a center for disabled HIV/AIDS patients in
Kenya. The list goes on and on, but what all of the project proposals
have in common is a desire to enable their communities to tell their
own stories, to write their own first draft of history, to document
their traditions and culture before they are washed away by the tides
of globalization.”

Congratulations to all those receiving the grant – I really believe this is a huge step for blogging outreach programmes!

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Wifi in the Hills

June 18, 2007

The Indian Express reports that a couple of Israeli geeks have set up a low-cost wi-fi network in Dharamshala, spread over 70 acres, more than 7,000 ft above sea level.

“Thirty-eight-year old David’s technological expertise and perhaps
even nimble athleticism (courtesy his Mossad training) proved useful in
setting up the network in the mountainous terrain. Antennae were
erected in the most unlikely places (in one case the tower was painted
with the insignia ‘Om’ and served as the spire of a local temple), the
Linksys routers were re-engineered to make them power-efficient(most of
them run on solar energy) and the towers were made “monkey resistant” after it was found that the primates found perverse pleasure in
dangling from them.

Other “sabotage” bids were similarly thwarted. There was one
last year in the form of a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDSA)
on the website of the Tibetan Technology Centre. Says Ginguld: “It is
difficult to pinpoint who did it but it started after an extensive
series of scans which happened somewhere in China. The same URLs were
loaded to access the database repeatedly…” In a written reply to The
Sunday Express, the Chinese Embassy said it was “unaware of any such

Schools, hospitals and other NGOs have benefited immensely
from the service, though the network’s limited bandwidth means it is
not accessible to individuals and laptop-carrying tourists. Says Dawa
Tsering of the Tibetan Medical Institute: “Our earlier connection would
break down frequently and wouldn’t be repaired for long durations. The
connectivity now is more or less uninterrupted.” While the vision of
BPO centres coming up in the region might be a bit too romantic, the
network is being used to promote trade. Dolma Kyap of Norbulingka Art
Institute says they offer Tibetan art works like Thangka painting and
statutes for sale on the Net. But what Ginguld is particularly thrilled
by is the sight of children using the network. “Computer labs in Indian
schools have lots of computers but no internet connection, which is
akin to having a sleek car without petrol. Today when I see
10-year-olds logging on to sites like hi5, chatting with people, I
realise we are on the right path,” he says.”


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