Rashtrapati Bhavan reads our story on Haryana village women learning computers, wants model replicated in 100 villages

Sat Singh May 24, 2017 3 min

It’s fashionable — and irritating — in news media to claim the “impact” of a story. We won’t call it “impact”, but at FactorDaily we are happy to report today that one of our stories was noticed by the highest office of the country and has resulted in a women-led development model from a Haryana village being replicated in 100 other villages in the state.

A FactorDaily-101Reporters story has resulted in a women-led development model from Haryana’s Bibipur village being replicated in 100 other villages  

On May 2, we ran a story highlighting how an NGO has started imparting basic literacy and computer training to women aged 50 and above in Bibipur village of Haryana’s Jind district. It was part of our #TechMeetsBharat series that we publish in partnership with 101Reporters, a pan-India network of reporters. The series chronicles how technology is going mainstream in the lives of people in hinterland India.

The Bibipur story got its usual share of likes, shares, and retweets on social media, among them a retweet by a chief minister. A tweet from Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s account called the Bibipur initiative “heartwarming”.

But what followed was out of the ordinary: Sunil Jaglan, 34, a former sarpanch of Bibipur village and the man spearheading the initiative, received a call the very day our story ran — May 7. The caller was from President Pranab Mukherjee’s office, no less! Rashtrapati Bhavan wanted him to join its Smart Gram, or smart village, project.

The villages adopted under Smart Gram project are being developed on what it calls an HHH formula — HHH being short from human, high-tech, and happiness. A Smart Gram requires basic physical and social infrastructure with a layer of smart information and communication embedded to improve governance and delivery of services, livelihood and economic opportunities.

In his nine-minute talk before an audience that included senior officials of the Haryana and Union governments, Sunil Jaglan, a former sarpanch of Bibipur, spoke about the importance of coaching classes for girls, putting up nameplates of daughters outside homes, and free digital literacy for elderly women  

Rashtrapati Bhavan adopted five villages in Haryana last year and increased the number to 100 this year under the project. It wanted Jaglan, who holds a BSc in computer science, to join the initiative. It would surely have also noticed that Jaglan was the man behind the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign.

Sunil Jaglan, a former sarpanch of Bibipur who spearheaded the initiative, makes a a presentation at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 8 about his work in the village

He was also asked to make a presentation at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 8 about his work in Bibipur. In his nine-minute talk before an audience that included senior officials of the Haryana and Union governments, Jaglan spoke about the importance of starting coaching classes for girls, putting up nameplates of daughters outside homes, and free digital literacy for elderly women.

After chief minister Khattar’s tweet, Jaglan says, heads of nearby villages evinced interest in running similar digital literacy programmes. From June, six villages of Jind district plan to start implementing them.


Images: Sat Singh Update: The spelling of 'Rashtrapati Bhavan' was wrong in a few places. This has now been corrected. The ‘Tech Meets Bharat’ series brings to you stories on how technology is impacting and changing lives in hinterland India.
Sat Singh (Twitter: @satsingh15) is a Rohtak based independent journalist and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.