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ICT-based Druv Project in rural Jaipur – an Interview with the project holder
Jaipur-based NGO called "Centre for Unfolding Learning Potentials' (CULP) has been running the Tata Trusts supported Project of taking Digital India Initiative to households in four villages of Jamwa Ramgarh block in Jaipur district since January this year.

The project has been made viable by converting smart TV into computer screen mediated through a customized centre box (Druv box) which is provided free of cost to the user households. The Druv box contains the knowledge/information about agriculture, education, child and women health etc.

The director of CULP, Dr OP Kulhari (respondent) was interviewed to know the details of the project and its effectiveness. The short interview consisted of following focused questions and responses:

Interviewer:  What is Druv Project and its purpose?

Respondent: Druv Project aims at reaching out to rural population in Rajasthan to bring social change in the community by helping them utilise the power of digital technologies by providing free access of internet on available TV screen. Its main purpose is to facilitate the digital, social and financial inclusions by appropriate use of ICT.

Interviewer: What inspired you to undertake Druv interventions?

Respondent: Since CULP is working for the education of children of rural communities in tribal and other backward districts where the households are not having easy access of internet. We also felt that youth are glued to Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube which is not much useful for their development, and Druv is striving for a paradigm shift in delivering useful curated multimedia contents on TV in domains such as e-gov, education, agriculture, and health.

Interviewer: What programmes does Druv box contain?

Respondent: It contains educational videos and useful knowledge/information about various government programmes, social security schemes, learning material for students, child and women health, agriculture, current affairs for youth aspiring jobs.

Interviewer: Who are the key beneficiaries of the project?

Respondent: All members of rural families are direct beneficiaries of the project since there is relevant information and knowledge for both women and men, children (from age 3 and above) and youth which can be used for the betterment of their lives.

Interviewer: Who are collaborators of the project?

Respondent: Druv project is an initiative of Tata Trusts as a non-profit social development activity with the technical support of a US-based company 'PRODEA' and collaborated with Information Technology Department of Government of Rajasthan under Digital India Campaign being implemented by CULP in Jamwa Ramgarh block.

Interviewer: What is the current reach-out of the project?

Respondent: CULP has installed Druv boxes in TVs of 500 households in four villages (viz Jamwa Ramgarh, Andhi, Tala and Raiser) for providing internet access by converting TV into smart screen. More than 80 per cent households are using the Druv boxes.

Interviewer: What were the challenges faced during the implementation of the project?

Respondent: The key challenges faced were: (i) non-compatibility of TV screens in about 90 per cent households; (ii) Poor internet connectivity; (iii) non-availability/non-retention of committed community volunteers who could impart user education and wallet education of members of Druv subscriber families, and (iv) delayed release of funds by Tata Trusts.

Interviewer: What is your learning from the project implementation?

Respondent: Effective Social Marketing Strategy is required to be adopted and a cadre of community volunteers must be trained, supported by a committed team of two young professionals.

Interviewer: What do you think about the up-scaling of this project in new areas?

Respondent: CULP is planning to up-scale Druv in about 2000 new households in 15 villages of four blocks in two districts (viz Jaipur and Banswara) in next one year where we are having our other educational programmes.

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