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Developing social impact with the Vodafone Mobile for Good (M4G) Awards

Team YS
3rd Sep 2016
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This story is sponsored by Nasscom Foundation and Vodafone Foundation

To say that the smartphone has changed the way we live would be an understatement. From the way we shop, to the way we entertain ourselves, it has even changed the way we communicate with each other.

It is this ubiquity that has made it the most obvious choice for a far more important role – a harbinger of social change. Its rapid adoption across rural and urban India can be attributed to its many advantages, which include connectivity, privacy, and most importantly the convenience of mobility, which means help is at hand anytime, anywhere.

In a bid to encourage the creation of mobile solutions to the issues that really affect our society, the Vodafone Foundation instituted the Mobile for Good (M4G) Awards in 2011 to recognise and support the development of these solutions through funding and mentorship.

Apply now. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2016.

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In 2015, the NASSCOM Foundation partnered with the Awards to motivate and encourage further innovations in mobile content and service delivery in the socio-economic development space.

That same year, Pune-based Smart Cloud Infotech Pvt Ltd was named a winner in the For Profit category for their Himmat/Nirbhaya app. It was the first-of-its-kind to be fully integrated with the Police Control Room (PCR), and allowed the user to send an SOS alert directly to PCR with their location, a video, and audio; the nearest police station, PCR vehicle, and even the victim’s family would then be notified. In the aftermath of the December 16, 2012 rape of a medical student in Delhi, women’s safety became a prime concern in India. That, and a slew of horrific attacks, created the need for systems that women could leverage to reach for help in a crisis. Today, the app has been witnessed over 10,000 downloads across mobile platforms.

However, the mobile phone has the potential to be much more than a panic device. With its proliferation in rural areas, it has become a valued asset for farmers in a time when the news is filled with stories of farmer suicides owing to failed crops. Apps like DeHaat, developed by Green Agrevolution, are helping small farmers capitalise on their crop productivity, market pricing and income. It is a one-stop solution platform for all their farming needs. With DeHaat, extension officers (channel partners) can help farmers with processes like registration, market linkage, and crop reminder calls. With the use of ICT, they connect with small farmers in remote locations and monitor the entire production process and advice individual farmers at each critical step of production in advance.

DeHaat, which was named a winner in M4G For Profit category winner, is being used by 5,700 farmers, across six districts in Bihar and one in Odisha.

This year, NASSCOM Foundation and Vodafone Foundation will recognise mobile solutions in four critical areas – Education, Agriculture and Environment, Health, and Women and Inclusive Development. NPO category Winners are eligible to receive grant from a total grant value of Rs 9 milion. All winners stand to receive national recognition and an opportunity to showcase their mobile solution on the Social App Hub – India’s first and only platform for social apps.

Who’s eligible?

The 2016 Awards will comprise two categories, namely 'Leading Change Maker – NPO Category' and 'Leading Change Maker – For profit category', including a special category for Government solutions. There will be a total of 11 winners – with six winners in the NGO category and five in the For Profit category, including one Government winner.

Any project wherein mobile technology has been leveraged for broader social and environmental good, with an emphasis on innovation, technology and overall sustainability, will be able to apply.

A worthy prize

With the grant this year at a staggering Rs 9 million, six winning NGOs in the not-for-profit category (excluding government solutions) will each be awarded Rs 15 lakhs. They will also receive structured mentoring from senior leaders in the industry to scale their solution.

Select For profit organisations will receive an opportunity to network with senior leaders and experts to further scale their solutions. All winners stand to get national recognition through Vodafone and have their apps showcased on the recently launched Vodafone Social App Hub, which can be accessed by both Android and iOS users across mobile service providers.

Winners over the years have tackled everything from conservation and career counselling to empowering low-income communities in Health, Child protection and livelihood with a focus on informed sexual choices.

Are you trying to effect change and rebuild something that is broken in our society today? Will your mobile solution improve a life?

If so, this is your chance to interact with people who are among the finest minds and innovators in their fields. It will change your life, and more importantly, the lives of thousands of other people.

Apply now. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2016.

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