GKPF is very happy to announce that it has chosen Suvankar Mishra as the recipient of the GKPF scholarship for the ICT4DEVIS summer school event.
We received a number of outstanding applicants and we Thank everybody for their application. GKPF is striving to make more scholarships for this and subsequent rounds of the ICT4DEVIS summer school available as resources permit.
Your GKPF team
About ICT4DEVIS: http://ksm.dicom.uninsubria.it/ict4devis/
I am an independent professional working towards sustainable and social development through inclusive Information Technology in India. My motivation comes from the length and breadth, technology can help to cover and reach out to the larger mass of the country. With a 1.2 billion population in the country, we have a lot of disparities and inequitable distribution of wealth, which in a way is curbing the overall social and economic upliftment of the country. The country has higher number of unbanked people and a far greater number with inadequate sanitation as compared to owning up mobile phones. So an obstacle,which is the former can be converted in to an asset using the all pervasive network of the latter, the mobile phones, to be precise. What people in the country need is knowledge and information and I believe that technology is the only way to reach out to the vulnerable populace of the country agnostic of geographies, linguistics etc. It is pivotal to let the populace know the requisite information and provide them access to need-based services, thereby creating a pull mechanism rather than a push mechanism to service delivery.
My active participation in to Social Entrepreneurship goes back to 2010, with my involvement in a start-up to create a real-time, online Branchless Banking model in India, under the banner of the Social Enterprise called BASIX. The model was to become an integrated payment gateway which will reach out to the villages and provide an access to financial transactions at the nearest retail point. It is just the replica of an ATM in a metropolitan city, thought this was a human interfaced ATM, in order to guide the customers in carrying out financial transactions without any apprehension. This model was successfully piloted and has expanded in to different regions of India, promotion Financial Inclusion and integrating Social Security Payments (like Pensions, Electronic Benefit Transfer) in to the platform.
Though, the above venture is a success, I felt that there is much more beyond a simple payment gateway, that needs to be done to bring the rural populace out of poverty and destitute. In an attempt to identify what could potentially help the people at the Base of the Pyramid and enhance, empower their lives, I created the PIE based model. PIE is an acronym for Participatory, IT-enabled, Entrepreneurial driven Social Business approach, to create a ripple effect on the ground and attain sustainability and scalability of the venture itself. Technology is an indispensable component of the model and is used to create WEALTH among the rural populace. I manifested the knowledge from the ground, in understanding what are the basic needs and what can be done to address these needs in the most accessible, affordable, and adaptable manner known to humans. With the ubiquity of mobile based devices, I leveraged its presence to carry out my venture using simple mobile devices which will have a different functionality depending upon the need of the rural populace. Thus, what I am working on currently is the "ICT4WEALTH". WEALTH is an acronym for the following:
Each of the bullets mentioned above is a basic need to be addressed in the country and and IT-enabled solution is being developed to address these basic needs. Based on the simple fundamental of Data Capture, Data Analytics, Logic Design, and Data Dissemination, I am creating Social IT-based Tool for WEALTH. The keyword here is; Information - which provides the right to an individual to know, differentiate between right and wrong, and assist in objective and data driven decision making. These Social IT-based Tools will not only have an impact on the rural populace but also on the Government, Media, Institutions, and Organizations which could extract and mine the data to suit their requirements. The objective will be to bring in a transparency and governance in reaching out to the rural masses and empower the populace through decision making.
Using a simple mobile device, a smartphone, or a tablet, a local agent, and the participatory approach, I am working towards making these Social Tool all pervasive and contribute towards equitable development and empowerment.
This work is being done through my venture founded in January 2012, named Grameenomobia Social Enterprise and I am piloting all my innovations and research work through eKutir Social Business, (www.ekutirsb.com).
I strongly believe in the power of networking to connect with the like-minded people, come across novel ideas and innovations in different parts of the globe, and mutually leverage opportunities and bring it to the benefit of one another. And what better and lucrative opportunity could I get other than the ICT4DEVIS program. Well, I work towards creating an ever-lasting social impact through my innovations and associating myself with GKPF will be no different as well. I would like to take this as an esteemed opportunity to tell the people about what ICT can actually do make people's lives not only better but also empowered. Today, in a fast-paced and globalized world, we have done more harm than good to the humanity and today is the time to bestow upon creating eternal good for others. If I am able to pass on this message to the peers involved in GKPF, well I would be a contributor to its vast network. Knowledge and Innovation is what I will be also able to provide to GKPF in the most pressing issues and assisting them to solve it for good. It is a knowledge based economy that is going to be a driver of the future and GKPF will need individuals passionate about acquiring and disseminating knowledge for creating good to have an ever-lasting impact in the world.
Founder & Director | Grameenomobia Social Enterprise