Dell Technologies announced that it has met its target of positively impacting 2 million beneficiaries through the Mobile Solar Community Hubs launched last year in India. These mobile hubs are technology-enabled and equipped with requisite devices, including laptops, television screens for broadcasting messages, solar panels to power devices, 4G internet hotspot facility and self-paced learning content, to help the community access online services. The goal of these mobile hubs is to travel from town to town providing internet and computer technology to local community members. Dell has a global goal of impacting one billion lives by 2030 and is committed to achieving it in a combination of going deep in communities of need, scaling through partnerships, and providing digital inclusion resources and programs.
In partnership with the Common Service Centres Scheme (CSC), Dell and Learning Links Foundation have successfully deployed solar-powered hubs in six aspirational districts as identified by the government. Key beneficiaries include students, youth, and women who are supported with trainings in digital and financial literacy, technical skills, entrepreneurship and career guidance & revenue-generating services guidance towards future job creation and achieving financial sustainability.
Dell is now extending the reach of the Mobile Solar Community Hubs to five additional districts:
- Pauri Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
- Ramgarh (Jharkhand)
- Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh)
- Pathankot (Punjab)
- Gurugram (Haryana)
Additionally, the program aims to upskill and digitally empower 200 ex-servicemen/retiring junior-ranked personnel (Jawans) of the Indian Armed Forces. Support is extended to address any lack of opportunities for skill acquisition and learning during their military tenure that may have resulted in a gap in their post-retirement prospects. The hubs will also assist wards of military personnel or 4000 students at defence schools, by introducing them to digital skills such as coding and block-programming.
“The digital challenges could be the result of lacking one or more fundamental elements needed for digital inclusion; access to technology, skill building opportunities to learn and grow, and the support they need to get started. Partnering with the government over the years in various activities has helped drive transformational change and address the digital divide,” said Alok Ohrie, president and managing director, Dell Technologies India.
Archana Sahay, regional giving manager, Asia Pacific & Japan at Dell Technologies, said, “Our collaboration is driven by the goal to support underrepresented communities to achieve digital equity, where they find themselves equipped with technology capacity needed for full participation in the society and economy. From students to women and now ex-servicemen, the opportunity to help them gain the skills to participate in India’s evolving digital society is a rewarding contribution.”
Nuriya Ansari of Learning Links Foundation said, “The expansion plan will be critical in transforming the lives of rural underrepresented communities, and ex-servicemen and retiring junior-ranked personnel from the Indian Armed Forces. These dedicated individuals face difficulties transitioning to civilian life due to a lack of opportunities for skill acquisition and learning during their military service. We value their dedication and discipline gained through military service and aim to provide them with a diverse range of career opportunities and choices.”
Learning Links Foundation will continue to provide on-the-ground support for the vans, which will equip the beneficiaries with digital and financial literacy, impart knowledge about cyber safety, and harness technological skills.