He started the discussion by quoting that Social Media is not only about Facebook, twitter and Google+ but few inter messaging systems has also become the faster channel for youth to activate the communication anytime at an open fire speed like interactive mobile services (whatsapp, Blackberry messanger etc).
Panel stated with the issue of communication about people working on the grassroots level, with no background of social media but they are aware of social media existence & understand that it is the great way to reach out to people but they have no idea on how to go about this?
While discussing that Social media today is not limited to few platforms only like Facebook and Twitter, the panel came across to a very interesting project named Digital Green. Began as a research project in Microsoft Research Labs & came out as a sustainable NGO in 2008 is working continuously to understand how low cost & effective the peer to peer learning can be via local content generation & screened out them via videos to various local communities to empower them with knowledge in various domains. They found that connect is so strong and impact is so different. This is a great example which shows the power of sharing.
The discussion was carried forward to discuss more about the Ground practitioners from Rural areas who are not so well versed with the idea & usage of Social media but have communication issues. Having all kind of experts around the table, the on ground LIVE examples discussion was invited to the desk. One of the participants like Mahila Shakti project share their concern.
Subhranshu Chaudhry from CGnetswara added that As social media is very inclusive media so participants also discussed about discussing and sharing the information in Hindi language. To bring communities together few suggested the use of social media in regional and community languages. Like Gondi community is one of the strong community however they are scattered in different regions of the country. So, Social Media can be used as the channel to bring the community people together.
Mahila Shakti is a project that works with underserved, disadvantaged and minority communities of Varanasi through education, literacy and livelihood by mobilising them through word of mouth, social networking, mobile SMS and by holding group meetings.Dr. Rajni Kant, from Mahila Shakti added further that the women in carpet weaving community are illiterate & they are not familiar with Social Media at all, however from past two years they are regularly attending Manthan Award and interacted with people & got to know the power of Mobile and now they use instant messaging services for better communications & of corse it is making them information rich resources.
Kapil Gupta, CEO, OMLogic Consulting agree that on-ground awareness of Social Media and other ICT tools use & impact in rural areas is an issue, and it is not something only brands or agencies can do but OMconsulting can also help in case we really want to create awareness on the ground level.
Karuna Nain, Public Policy Programs Manager, Facebook have a group of people who visit in the rural parts of the country where there is no internet connection. Facebook team talks to people there and make them aware of the internet, facebook usage and how this can help in empowering communities. Teams on-ground put their efforts to understand the needs of the communities regarding access to information, training tools etc.
Raheel Khurshid added the another aspect of Social media – Content, which plays an important role in the use & impact both. A short & useful content can attract the target audience very easily & impact can be wonderful. MR P K Roy added, Documenting the story is very important to get the social attention. Also a good situation related photographs can go viral like the project another case is CRY- Click Rights who have used the concept of documenting the stories with relevant photographs, properly for information outreach is successful in drawing attention at a quick rate.
Subhranshu Chaudhry further added that It is also necessary to have the proper connectivity for better communication, like the people working on the grassroots do not know the use of internet or do not have the email address of the right person to connect for the solutions of the basic issues. To solve such kind of issues and to bridge the gap, few panelists suggested for collaboration in terms of sharing ideasand finding a way in empowering grassroots.
The characteristics of social media are dependent on 3Cs (Connectedness; Collaborate; Community). Mr Kapil Gupta further added “Sharing information, research and good idea of content through Collaboration can open a new ways for urban and rural activist in social media”. Along with Mr Abhishek Baxi, few panelists also agreed to work together and interested in helping the women empowerment projects and giving ideas on how to leverage the use of social media for the people in grassroots level. Taking the Summit discussion to a conclusion
Mr Prasanto Roy summarize the discussion on visioning round table by saying- Mr PK Roy concluded the session saying that the awareness among communities about the Social media is important. He shared to have the maximum knowledge about the kind of content, information and how NGOs and grassroots people communities are getting benefited in case of communication and sharing information. Also support NGOs and grassroots communities by sharing information to their network
He added that understanding the use of social media like in language in depth, knowledge gap among people working in corporates, NGOs and local communities is significant.
He shared that the major benefit of the session was about empowering grassroots communities through the use of social media and how social media experts can help them to get the proper channel. Few panelist and participants were interested in volunteering their time.
Digital Empowerment Foundation started keeping a track on awardees for their impact and growth.