CGI Partners With Nasscom Foundation To Ensure Technology Reaches The Last Mile
The larger aim seems to encourage citizens to become self-reliant through digital literacy and benefit from better employment and entrepreneurship opportunities
Over the last five years, technology has drastically disrupted how we live and conduct our businesses. Ola, Zomato, UPI and other such innovations have created a shared economy that has given us tremendous conveniences in urban areas. But, despite the deeper Internet penetration, it lacks the right infrastructure as well as the knowledge to utilise it the right way.
Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, nasscom foundation said, “We all believe that technology is an enabler but it is also a divider. Despite internet accessibility, inadequate infrastructure in rural regions remains a significant challenge. Therefore, while embracing digitisation, it is crucial to ensure that no one is left behind"
In an exclusive interaction, Nirbhay Lumbde, Director- APAC Corporate Social Responsibility, CGI and Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, nasscom foundation discuss the emergence of pro-bono volunteering in India and how it can help in creating a positive impact in marginalised communities. Apart from this, the evolving role of ProBono volunteering and what are their plans for collaboration.
While the government is making efforts to provide technology solutions to the rural consumer base, there are large organisations that plan to work together on these fronts. The larger aim seems to encourage citizens to become self-reliant through digital literacy and benefit from better employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Pro bono skill-based volunteering is gaining momentum in India, with more organisations and individuals recognising the value of contributing their skills and expertise to drive positive social impact.
Of the many technology transformations, the makers should be vigilant of gaps and ground problems that rural users face. According to nasscom foundation’s Bhasin, technology has to be cost-effective, scalable and frugal.
"CSR for CGI is core. Employees are equal partners in giving back and their voluntary initiative adds value. The value system at CGI has three broad areas which are, people, communities and climate. CGI believes that employee engagement is important and tries to bring the best of both worlds," explains Nirbhay Lumbde, Director- APAC Corporate Social Responsibility, CGI.
Out of many programs running under CGI, HeadStream which is an inventory management tool is one such example. The NGO is running a livelihood program where rural women create children’s products such as LEGO bricks but made of natural, sustainable materials like clay. These products are produced by women in different villages.
These are collected by the NGO, packed and sold through online portals such as Amazon, other online stores and physical stores. They are seeking support to help create and deploy a digital inventory management system for the materials and resources used in the program, within 2-3 months from the start date of the project and train the Headstreams on how to use it.
Such volunteering opportunities can also be a way for professionals to use their skills to positively impact society, gain new experiences and skills, and build their professional network. It is a win-win situation for both the volunteers and the organizations that receive the services.
Nasscom Foundation is the social arm of nasscom, the technology industry body in India. CGI has collaborated with the foundation for the past three years to advance digital literacy among vulnerable communities, with a specific focus on women. Through this partnership, so far, 10,000 people across the communities in which we live and work have received digital skills training.
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