At the Digital Women Awards 2017 in Mumbai on Sunday, a panel discussion on “Digital for Good” was conducted.
Nidhi Kamdar, Officer on Special duty, Chief Minister’s Office, Maharashtra, Rosanna Lyngdoh of Impulse Network and Reema Sathe of Happy Roots discussed the various ways they have been using digital for the benefit of the masses and the other opportunities that lie ahead. SheThePeople’s Rupali Mehra moderated the panel.
'Digital for Good' – the next panel at the #DigitalWomenAwards being moderated by @rupalimehra with panelists Nidhi Kamdar, OSD, @CMOMaharashtra, @reema_sathe, Founder & MD, Happy Roots and Rosanna Lyngdoh, @ImpulseNetwork. pic.twitter.com/doi9LiuzR6
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeople) November 19, 2017
Driving Social Change in the State
Reiterating on how technology can be used to spur social change, Nidhi Kamdar said that the Maharashtra government has recently joined hands with Change.org (the petition website). It is listening to people through that and making policies. She also talked about the right to services which makes it compulsory for government officials to deliver the services in stipulated time. If they fail to provide the service, they have to pay a penalty to the citizens.
Around 1 crore farmers registered themselves online in 45 days for their loan waiver. – Nidhi Kamdar
Digital Transformation in Rural Areas
While the government is reaping benefits of technology to facilitate administration, the rural areas of the country are also witnessing a wave of digital transformation. Throwing light on the same, Reema Sathe of Happy Roots explained how the rise of social media is helping farmers connect with each other.
“We started our business through WhatsApp so we have about 4 WhatsApp groups which have farmers from across the state. Announcement about a new crop, they see an insect or a pest destroying their crop and they want a solution they post photographs on this group.”, she substantiated.
“It is amazing to see the way the rural population is making use of the social media.” – Reema Sathe
Expanding Technology in Rural India
“We are trying to create a platform where we can have grassroots level traceability of what a farmer is growing in the region, what kind of support they need and how we can get help from government or corporate representatives and pass it on to them.”, said Reema Sathe on how the expansion of digital can contribute to greater good in agriculture.
Using Tech to Combat Big Problems
Rosanna Lyngdoh of Impulse Network elaborated on how using digital can tackle some pertinent issues like human trafficking.
“We have used social media and that has impacted a lot of women and children and the law enforcement to work with. We have come up with a software to combat human trafficking. It is being used by the police department and anti-human trafficking units in the north-east. This will also fasten the whole process and solve the problem.“
“Why should social responsibility be only limited to corporates? Social responsibility is about everyone – individuals and organizations, institutions and the companies as well.” – Nidhi Kamdar