Coronavirus (177) Guidance for remote rural communities (5)

22 March, 2020

Note from HIFA Co-moderator (Poorvaprabha Patil): This message is in response to Tusharkanti Dey (Coronavirus 176).

Dear Dr. Dey, Thanks a lot for your introduction to the HIFA forum.

Dear members,

We are a social-technology organization that's been working on providing information services to rural and low-income communities through voice-based applications. Attached is a note of content and services that we are putting together in preparedness for a worsening COVID outbreak in the country. We will appreciate any support or links you can facilitate in this regard. A bit about Gram Vaani is in the blurb below.



Gram Vaani, meaning 'voice of the village', builds innovative technologies and sustainability processes to empower poor and marginalized communities to voice their opinions and demands. Starting in 2009, we built a pioneering radio automation system that now runs at 30+ community radio stations in India and 5 in Africa, enabling an aggregate population of 2 million people to create their own local media. In 2011, we built a radio-over-phone citizen journalism service that in now deployed at Jharkhand and eastern UP in India, and in Afghanistan and Pakistan internationally, and has a cumulative usage of over 7000+ calls per day. We are also building similar services in urban areas for citizen-based monitoring of public services. Our technologies thus empower even poorly-literate and low-income communities to create and share local content. We have won several awards, including the Knight News Challenge in 2008, the Manthan Awards in 2009, the Economic Times Power of Ideas awards in 2010, the Rockefeller challenge in 2012, the mBillionth South Asia Award in 2012, the Grand Challenges Rising Stars award in 2012, and were finalists in the Ashoka Changemakers and Vodafone Mobiles for Good

competition this year. We work with organizations all across India and in other developing parts of the world.