Recognizing the vital role that Information & Communication Technology (ICT) can play in the empowerment of the rural women, a scheme has been launched as pilot project with the aim of facilitating women's Self Help Groups (SHGs) access to ICT enabled services.
The Sanchar Shakti pilot scheme for Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) provisioning envisages development of content/information customized to the requirements of women SHG members engaged in diverse activities in rural areas across India. The scheme entails innovative application of technology in designing & delivering the VAS content so as to ensure its easier accessibility & effective assimilation among the targeted women beneficiaries.
Financial support from USO Fund is envisaged to be provided towards Mobile VAS subscriptions for SHGs in accordance with the provisions of underlying subsidy Agreements. Four Agreements have since been signed between USOF and Service Providers in the service area of Pune (Maharashtra) Uttrakhand, Ajmer (Rajasthan) and Srikakulam, East Godavari & Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). Impact assessment studies have been conducted for the pilot completed in Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra which are being evaluted.