Internet Saathi Digital LIvelihood Initiative

Madhya Pradesh

From February 2019 to the end of July 2019, PHIA piloted a livelihood programme in association with TATA AMC. The idea was to build capacities of Internet Saathis in the financial services sector. A total of 38 Internet Saathis in the district of Indore were skilled under the supervision of TATA AMC team. The idea was to prepare these Saathis to effectively reach out to people in their cluster, make them aware about mutual funds as saving instruments and try to sell MFs to those interested during monthly events organised by TATA AMC. In this way women were encouraged to look at this as a long-term livelihood potential. In the course of six months, they were required to get certification and clear the NISM exam. All the Saathis appeared for the exam enthusiastically, two even cleared it and are on their path of becoming a seller with the TATA AMC in the near future.

 

Internet Saathi Digital Livelihood Initiative through propagation of BOLO application

BOLO is a mobile application developed by Google and is meant for children. It helps promote reading skills and reading habits in young children. Under the initiative the Internet Saathis were trained to engage with children and their parents/guardians to familiarize them with the app, explaining its use and benefits towards children learning. In spite of initial hindrance due to non availability of smart mobile phones, bandwidth/ data issues Saathis were able to convince more than 23,181 users to download the app. BOLO experience was a great learning for the Saathis and also institutionally, in terms of challenges that rural landscapes face in terms of intervention driven by smart mobile based technology. These insights would help plan future intervention better.

Livelihood Initiative under Saksham program

The Saksham programme was initiated in July 2019 with the objective to evolve Saathis as entrepreneurs based on their choice of business through handholding support, facilitation and series of training to make them self-reliant. In the project, 600 women are engaged from four districts and amongst them 60% are from marginalised communities. The team selected for facilitation of these entrepreneurs helped the Saathis in their journeys, by conducting the training sessions, making them aware of government schemes and assisting them in choosing the correct enterprises depending on their interests. Through the programme, Saathis were oriented to perform basic as well as complex tasks of running a business. The hope is that over the course of time they will develop business acumen and would independently be able to maintain their log books and keep track of their earnings, expenditure and profits.

Internet Saathi – Creating Rural Entrepreneur Project

Creating Rural Entrepreneur Project is a partnership between FREND, CISCO and Tata Trusts. Through this programme the aim is to create 1650 women entrepreneurs with the help of an existing network of 550 Saathis. The approach is, as the Saathis excel in the domain of micro-enterprises, their success would not only bring benefits to their families but also would positively impact their villages. Women entrepreneurs over the course of a year were given training, stimulation and insights on how to run a micro-enterprise. Following which the Saathis started building their own enterprise as per their choice. Under the programme, the Saathis are regularly monitored and have been categorized in several categories depending on their business type and income. This has been done with the aim to provide channelized support to the Saathis depending upon the level of assistance needed. So far the programme is progressing steadily and out of 1650 Saathis, only 20 have dropped out, the remaining Saathis are running their small-scale businesses with positive motivation.

 

Niti Aayog Aspirational District Initiative

PHIA foundation rolled out this initiative in Chandauli and Siddharthnagar with its existing network of Internet Saathis. The objective of periodic surveys based on the thematic areas and indicators decided by Niti Aayog. Here periodicity of the indicators varies monthly, quarterly and biannually. In the last round of survey conducted, our Internet Saathis visited and surveyed all Sub Health Centres, Public Health Centres, Community Health Centres, Government schools & District Hospitals in Chandauli and Siddharthnagar. It has been observed that road connectivity, electricity supply, health facilities, educational facilities, water supply, sanitation facilities have improved. The administrations behaviour towards common people has become better. PHIA plans to continue with this initiative in the coming future.

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