Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

Mobile phone-based information sharing service about accessible opportunities in rural India

Enable India is a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India, active in 28 Indian states and working towards economic independence and dignity for people with disabilities. The organization has developed a mobile phone-based information sharing service called Namma Vaani, which allows users to listen and respond to recorded voice messages from the disability community regarding education and employment opportunities, workplace solutions, enhanced life skills, and more.

“I call Hamari Vaani at least seven to eight times a day, and I learn a lot from each and every call. Not only do I learn how I can change my life and not let my inabilities get in my way, I use a lot of the lessons and stories to help dispel the discrimination against persons with disability.”

KalicharanA person with vision impairment, Madhya Pradesh
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Mobile phone-based information sharing service about accessible opportunities in rural India
Organisation:Enable India
Country
of Implementation
India

FACTS & FIGURES

  • As of mid-2017, Namma Vaani has received over 218,000 calls.
  • As of mid-2017, Namma Vaani has been accessed by over 15,500 unique callers.
  • As of mid-2017, over 12,000 personal stories have been recorded, with 95% of the content on the platform being user-generated.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Persons with disabilities living in India’s rural or marginalised areas have little or no access to information that could help improve their lives, such as finding suitable education and employment opportunities, new life skills, and government assistance schemes.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Namma Vaani (meaning “our voice”) is a voice-based social network, where information is shared via mobile phones (no smartphone and web-access needed) for the disability community in rural and marginalised areas of India. NGOs, private companies, persons with disabilities, parents, and other enablers record and upload voice messages, which are then accessed by the system users. The content is managed centrally by Enable India staff, who A man accessing information through a mobile phone.moderate and publish the information to the service. The information relates largely to employment opportunities, but also includes messages such as education and training opportunities, workplace solutions, life skills, government schemes, and inspiring stories. This allows information to be spread easily, quickly, and at a low cost. Those who are interested in the opportunities can record a reply message into the phone.
Use of the system has spread to all 30 districts of the Karnataka state in western India. As of mid-2017, Namma Vaani has received over 218,000 calls from 15,500 unique callers who have recorded over 12,000 inspiring personal stories.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

Namma Vaani was first launched in Kannada, the official language of the Karnataka state, and a Hindi version (Hamari Vaani) was introduced in mid-2017 in Hindi-language states. In the first month of operation, Hamari Vaani received more than 2,500 calls from over 1,000 unique callers.A woman accessing information through a mobile phone.
Both Namma Vaani and Hamari Vaani receive corporate funding, which covers the cost of producing the two systems and their annual operation (approximately $ 50,000 US Dollars per system). Corporate funding is provided as part of the requirement that businesses in India with annual revenue of over 1.5 million US Dollars give 2 per cent of their profits to charitable causes. The ongoing maintenance of the systems requires only basic interactive voice response technology plus a few employees to monitor and moderate messages.
FACTSHEET

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