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Re: Rural women: striving for gender transformative impacts

Dineshkumar Singh
Dineshkumar SinghTATA CONSULTANCY SERVICESIndia

mKRISHI®  started as a Digital Innovation for rural masses at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Innovation Lab Mumbai.  But soon it was felt that mere introducing the technology would not yield the intended results. Hence, TCS' experience in "Problem solving" and "Program management" also came handy.  TCS picked up two large pilot projects, one with World Bank and other with IFAD, through it's partners to experiment few process improvement and project management models. This helped in creating a "participatory environment" where each stakeholder - including the women members of the family, participated. The experiences are shared in the attached ppt herewith.  

Some of the highlights are as below:

Creating a Mindset Change - (through Awareness) - most critical of all interventions and involved the role of NGOs, community development agencies and also spiritual organizations (as it runs deeper within the society).

Improve Accessibility (through ICT) - Mobility kind of created a "virtual open gate" through which "Window to the World (WOW)" was established. Information was accessible, right there, where the person was! This brought more awareness, about the changing world, rights of the individual and the role models!

Develop Livelihood - (through small scale Entrepreneurship) - Women in India had always been contributing in family agriculture business, but more like a "hidden labor".  But the concept of new "micro agro businesses" and availability of the credits and government funding / schemes, helped them to push to "pilot the enterprenuer" among them.  This was a role transformation i.e. from a housewife or house labor to an enterprenuer.  Access to finance brought lots of respects from family, it boosted the confidence and also brought "livelihood security" amidst agri crisis.

So overall a new world could be seen within the same age-old, village world. These interventions helped Mindset Transformation, from a society from “demanding subsidy” to “Self Reliance”.

Read the brief case study attached.