wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Digital Empowerment Foundation to rent used phones to rural citizens

farmer-india

Digital Empowerment Foundation, an NGO based in Delhi has launched an initiative called Merabyte that collects ‘functional’ second-hand phones, tablets, pen drives, SD cards, laptops, cameras, and other gadgets as donations to distribute it to the “marginalized and underserved rural population of India”.

Merabyte utilizes 161 Community Information Resource Centres (CIRCs) set up by the NGO to provide used gadgets for public use in rural areas across 21 states. People can rent out the donated devices at a low cost. DEF has set up 150 collection centres across 22 states in India for crowd-sourcing donated devices and gadgets.

Donors can request for a home pick-up or courier the devices by signing up online. They can also drop it off in the collection centres. The NGO claims to have collected and distributed more than a 100 devices since the project’s launch last month, which is still at a pilot stage.

Refurbishment centres and e-waste management: After 6 months of piloting, DEF plans to start refurbishing phones, laptops, and other gadgets and provide at CIRCs for usage. It plans to open 3 refurbishment centres across Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh), Guna (Bihar) and Ranchi (Jharkhand).  In addition, DEF is planning to roll out an e-waste management mechanism within a year to recycle gadgets and devices that become unusable due to wear-and-tear.

Why DEF is charging a usage fee

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

A spokesperson from DEF told MediaNama that it charges a usage fee for donated devices: “If the refurbishment of 1,000 phones costs Rs 1 lakh, we will charge Rs 100 for refurbishment service per phone (and not as the cost of the phone) to recover the cost of refurbishment.” The money will be donated to the organisation in exchange of the same phone.

Note that the organisation does not actually charge Rs 100 for usage, but it mentions this to explain the usage fee for devices. The NGO however did not reveal the exact charge to us, but mentioned that it is a “nominal fee”.

Other digital initiatives by DEF

Apart from distribution of devices, the Community Information Resource Centres (CIRCs) also provides services like scanning, printing, passport-size photography, and research and survey purposes. DEF also runs other rural digitization initiatives. Other initiatives include:

-Internet connectivity project: DEF in partnership with The Internet Society, provides free basic Internet connectivity to remote villages and towns in South Asia under the Wireless For Communities (W4C) project. It claims to extend connectivity from the nearest location that has an Internet connection to a location, which has no internet access. This is done by creating multiple Internet hotspots among village and location without connectivity. The distance for extension can be anywhere between 15 kms to 100 kms.

The Digital Cluster Resource Programme trains weavers to use advanced design software like CAD/CAM and eCommerce platforms, It also educates them about market traits, design , government schemes for handloom weavers/industry and upcoming exhibitions/fairs around them.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Image Credit: Flickr user CIAT under CC BY-SA 2.0

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

News

By Rahul Rai and Shruti Aji Murali A little less than a year since their release, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 is being amended....

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ