On September 25th 2015, 150 world leaders adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, the organization recommends that everyone needs to their part: governments, the private sector, civil society, and everyday people. Through Project DRUV, Prodea strives to improve Quality Education (Goal #4).
Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development. DRUV (meaning North Star) is an all new community development program that serves to use innovative technology to help transform the lives of rural and remote populations in India. The project has been launched in Rajasthan, India and will be expanded to other states in the country soon. DRUV is about internet connectivity and its mission aims to create accessibility to affordable and informative content by bringing digital connectivity to television screens with a view to make a difference to the quality of life of the underprivileged and underserved populations. The access to curated digital content does not require a browser. There is no need to use keyboards that are confusing for people with low literacy levels and low digital literacy levels. Using a simple TV like remote for interface significantly reduces the barrier of literacy levels required for accessing digital knowledge. A set top box that communicates to the internet over a dongle or Wi-Fi and connected to the TV converts it to a convenient access point for digital knowledge by enabling information and transaction. Project DRUV is an initiative of Tata Trusts in association with Prodea Systems.
This progressive partnership combines the philanthropic and entrepreneurial vision of Tata Trusts to Prodea’s technological expertise along with Digital India initiatives to target Rajasthan’s technologically deprived communities. The partnership will address some of the prevalent challenges that rural communities in developing countries face, namely:
Additional services and solutions provided by the partnership include:
“It t is an honor to partner with one of the most trusted and respected organizations in India – Tata Trusts. Together we are going to empower people to elevate themselves from poverty to prosperity through education and knowledge,” said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of Prodea. “We have created an entirely new model of community development that, until now, did not exist. We are proud to be able to contribute to a tangible demonstration of how technology can transform the lives of even the most remote populations. While we have seen progress in the availability of the internet – many underprivileged populations cannot benefit from the connectivity because of the digital divide observed in these types of communities. We are proud to be able to provide a first ever implementation of a concrete and demonstrable solution to the digital gap that is keeping 4.5 billion people offline.”— Anousheh Ansari CEO and Co-Founder, Prodea Services, Inc.
Currently, 103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 percent of them are women. Through Prodea’s partnership with DRUV we are bridging the digital divide by delivering on-demand educational content through television. By 2030 we hope to contribute the UN’s educational goals:
Our desire to take action and be a part of the solution truly drives our company. In the words of the United Nations, “Change starts with you. Seriously. Every human on earth—even the most indifferent person among us—is part of the solution.”