Nestled in the picturesque Vindhyachal valley and situated in the Ashok Nagar district of Madhya Pradesh, the town of Chanderi is famous world over for its magnificent weaves. The town also hosts the occasional sightseer since it is interspersed with more than hundred monuments, both religious and secular, which stand in testimony for its glorious and eventful past.  Chanderi can best be described as a rural town with an urban consciousness. Weaving is the source of livelihood for more than 60% of its population, while the rest are engaged in agriculture, biri making, stone quarring and tertiary occupations.

Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) in collaboration with Media Labs Asia has conceptualized the Chanderi Weavers ICT Resource Centre (CWICTRC) in order to provide technical education to the textile weavers of Chanderi. It endeavours to provide alternative options of livelihood through ICT based empowerment. This initiative, collectively called ‘Chanderiyaan’ aims at fostering community based development and empowerment through the Chanderi Integrated ICT for Development Program (CIIDP).

The Chanderi Integrated ICT for Development Program (CIIDP) endeavours to enable multi-pronged integrated digital development of Chanderi by creating a digital ecosystem of the town. The program is all embracing, incorporating Social entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Education and Tourism and integrating it with the socio – economic and historical fabric of Chanderi.

Digital Empowerment Foundation

Digital Empowerment Foundation, a Delhi based non-profit organization, registered under the “Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860” endeavours to bridge the digital divide and uplift the downtrodden through the medium of Information Communication and Technology. It has been actively involved in linking ICT to the masses, particularly in rural areas.  DEF already has started 2 Community Information Resource Centers (CIRCs) out of 5 targeted for the entire country in various locations. The two established CIRCs are located in Jharkhand and Rajasthan.

Media Labs Asia

Media Lab Asia, promoted by Department of Information technology, MCIT, Govt. of India as a not profit organization, endeavours to bring the benefits of ICT to the common man. It started with the functional activity areas such as World Computer (Affordable, ubiquitous computing & access devices), Bits for All (Low Cost, High bandwidth connectivity) and Tomorrow’s Tool (Rurally relevant applications). However it was later changed to application areas such as ICT for- Healthcare, Education, livelihood, Empowerment of the disabled, and Wireless Connectivity.

The organization has taken up 75 development projects out of which some are now being implemented at the national level. Media Labs Asia is poised for developing relevant & sustainable technologies and culturally appropriate solutions for the empowerment of the rural masses.