Digital Empowerment Foundation

Founded in 2002, Digital Empowerment Foundation has been working to empower marginalised and unconnected communities living at the edge of information by enabling them with digital capacity, access and rights across pillars like education and entertainment, livelihood and finance, health and agriculture, culture and heritage, with a focus on digital rights for women and adolescents. With a 10,000 strong cadre of digital foot soldiers across India, DEF has created interventions in 2000 locations in 135 districts across 24 states. Additionally, DEF has a strong network in South Asia and is also an influential member of several global digital initiatives and organisations like Internet Governance Forum (IGF), Internet Society (ISOC), Association of Progressive Communication (APC), World Wide Web Foundation (WWW) and Global Network Initiatives (GNI). Going forward from 2021 to 2030, DEF is focused on working to connect the unconnected, as well as develop a healthy ecosystem wherein those who are connected can live a life free from fake news, misinformation and Internet shutdowns.


Digikargha was established as a not-for-profit Section 8 company in 2017 to take forward Digital Empowerment Foundation’s efforts in training artisans in using digital technology to enhance their livelihood, in the handicraft and handloom clusters, through its DigiPreneur model. Just like the Loom that connects and creates, Digikargha connects these trained artisans and weavers to customers and designers with a seamless interface that serves both well. The aim is to preserve the skill of the artisans, prevent their migration to unskilled work and to cities, safeguarding their interest. Digikargha helps designers and customers from the urban landscape connect with artisans rich in wisdom and tradition, while ensuring they get a quality product and convenient services at their doorstep, for a nominal fee.

Creative Dignity
Established in 2020, the Creative Dignity is a movement that has brought together diverse creative producers, practitioners, and professionals to energise the ecosystem that Indian artisans needed in the time of COVID -19 and its impact post the pandemic. 

With the onset of the pandemic, it was crucial to take artisans to digital platforms that were the only channels of sales during the lockdown. In a first one-of-a-kind national attempt Creative Dignity volunteers and members worked with artisans to create digital catalogues, hand-held and trained artisans through the processes of phone photography, SKU coding, making and maintaining line sheets etc, that were a prerequisite for their digital presence.

Training, conversations with artisans and experimentation with various hybrid ways of  knowledge-sharing led to building of modules, tools and programs for artisan and CD network members with these digital skills.

By continuing keeping artisans at the core of every initiative, CD’s goal is to enable artisans to become equal and active participants in building a regenerative ecosystem, where they have the agency to thrive with dignity. Creative Dignity was recognised as one of the 12 ecosystem builders (multi-stakeholder partnerships) in the list of India’s top 50 Covid 19 last-mile responders by the World Economic Forum’s Covid Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs.