BANGALORE: Two Bangalore-based non-profit organizations are among the top 10 shortlisted NGOs for Google’s Global Impact Challenge Award 2013. The award is for organizations working towards making India and the world a better place using technology.
The challenge award launched in August 2013 where NGOs were asked how they would make India and the world a better place using technology.
While Agastya was selected for running successful motorbike science laboratories to address lack of science equipment and digital resources for rural government schoolchildren, Janaagraha-Centre for Citizenship and Democracy was able to create a buzz among citizens through online platforms and mobile apps that connect the common man to their elected representatives.
“We started IChangeMyCity.com – a hyper-local social change network where citizens were empowered with useful information about their neighbourhood, ward or assembly constituency. how much funds have been allocated, how much has been put to what kind of use and register complaints if any.
Our team picks complaints and resolve them with the respective civic agency. Within a year, we have registered 6,000 complaints, and our resolution target is 50%,” said Joylita Saldhana, manager, online products, Janaagraha.
She added that if her NGO wins, then the plan is to reach out to other Indian cities and target to touch upon 1.5 million citizens in a year.
Agastya has been able to prove its pedagogical achievement through their mobile science labs, giving underprivileged childrenin rural schools or government schools in urban areas a hands-on activity based learning experience.
Their ‘lab in a box’ project is being implemented in 12 states including Karnataka. Government teachers are given such boxes with experimental models and, in a week, they have to organize activities to help children learn through hands-on experiments.
The NGO started a pilot ‘lab in a bike’ in Kuppam ( Andhra Pradesh) and Bangalore where by the Agastya instructors carry such boxes and train students themselves. This is why their project was applauded for the Google Impact Challenge.
The Rs 3-crore cash prize will be given to the winning non-profit organization for its dynamic technological approach. The fate of these contestants also depends on public voting, and the process is on till October 30.
POWER OF IDEA
In the venture world, you sometimes come across an idea and know in an instant that it has the break-through model, exceptional team and scalable business plan needed to make a huge impact. Each of the 10 finalists The 10 non-profit finalists that were announced today each
has the potential to bring about positive change in India. They only need support to do so. I’m delighted to join Google and celebrate all of these innovative idea, and I can’t wait to see which will be brought to life with the public’s support.