This article on using mobile technology for social good is part of the #Mobile4Good series & is made possible by Vodafone India.
Who says you cannot serve your country from far away? A group of NRIs is using technology to help people in rural India very effectively. From water scarcity to lack of electricity – they are busy solving these problems from thousands of miles away.
‘One phone call a day to keep problems away’ is the basic mantra with which Suresh Ediga, an NRI living in New York, has been working for people in rural India.
It was four years ago that Suresh came to know about CGNet Swara, a voice-based news portal, operational in Adivasi areas of states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. CGNet Swara is basically a platform where people can report or listen to news on local issues by dialling a number. All the recorded messages are translated into Hindi and English and published on the website, where journalists, NGOs and other organisations can listen to them and help resolve the problems.
Immediately after going through the website some years ago, Suresh decided to help. He would take one issue every week, call up the concerned authorities in India, and would keep calling until some action was taken. After a few years of doing this, he decided to get more people on board so the impact could be larger.
Today, he leads a group of 12 NRIs who meet online once every week, discuss and decide which issues they will take up, and make all the necessary calls.
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