ABOUT Soochna Seva

Socio-economic indicators paint an abysmal picture of the condition of women, Schedule Castes and Tribes, minorities and other marginalized groups. The process of empowerment of these sections has not sufficiently contributed to India’s internationally-lauded development rate. The problem does not necessarily lie with the policy framework of the country or government initiatives aimed at improving their condition, but with the lack of awareness about the public schemes amongst the poorest strata and inept and corrupt implementation machinery. In addition to being deprived of other basic amenities, the poorer sections of the society also suffer from a severe dearth of information.

Accessibility to information is restricted primarily by the lack of effective and public-centric governance structures and limited portals for its dissemination. The first step towards active removal of barriers to the flow of information is systematic capacity building of all the stakeholders. These capacity building initiatives will also play a key role in promoting accountable and responsive panchayats and other government bodies. All of these levels of governance need to work in close coordination for improving accessibility of information about public schemes and successfully delivering their benefits to those who are most deserving.

Schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Universal Education Mission) and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 make education a constitutional right for all citizens of India, yet India has the largest population of illiterate adults in the world . Poverty alleviation schemes such as National Rural Livelihoods Mission and Acts like NREGA have not been making a major difference because of mismanagement of funds and lack of awareness amongst the expected beneficiaries. Therefore, there is a dire need for a program that can bridge the information gap by integrating multiple modes of communications. Digital Empowerment Foundation initiated the SOOCHNA SEVA project with an aim to facilitate dissemination of information of public schemes and services and enable the deserving groups to derive benefits from them. In order to ascertain the exact conditions that we have to work with and establish a baseline, we have conducted surveys in our target locations
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