Common Room Network in the Ciptagelar village of the southern region of the province of West Java in Indonesia is bringing ease to everyday activities, information dissemination and access to public schemes and inclusion through a space they share with the communities. They are also developing local content to talk about their tradition and indigenous ways of knowledge production through this network.
A group of refugees from Myanmar had to struggle to survive in the remote hills of Manipur, far away from their home. Among several adversities they faced, lack of internet to connect to the world was one. This video shows how this settlement managed to set up a reliable CN of their own through a community leader.
Nuh, a small village in Haryana is disadvantaged both economically and socially. The Smartpur initiative under the leadership of the Meo community has been connecting the unconnected for a few years now. This video shows how are they collectively making it possible.
The second case was presented by Bikram Shreshta, of the Nepal Internet Foundation, who has worked with several CNs in Nepal. The temporary settlement, only around 115 kilometres from Kathmandu, where refugees from the disastrous earthquake in 2015 are staying, is also at a high risk of flood during the rains. The houses are made of Tin, making it hard to stay in extreme climates.
The first case was presented by the community media activists T.B Dinesh, Shalini and the Janatsu team who is running a CN in Tumkur of Karnataka, India. Tumkur is 70 kilometres from Bangalore city, but the villages where the Janatsu Collective is helping run the community Network is a place where you’ll have to travel far to get coverage or even get an OTP. Like most of rural India, caste is an existing reality in these villages too- there is an upper caste village and a lower caste one.
A community network from the islands in the Jakarta region, Indonesia share their experience of community radio and the community network they operate. This video shows how they managed to run a CN to prevent child marriage, violence against women and bring COVID-19 awareness.
Suusamyr, a village of 4000 people tucked away in the high mountains in Kyrgyzstan, gets internet through radio receivers installed for the wireless internet. This is a story of their journey in building this network that reaches out to one of the remotest regions in the country.
The first case video is about the Digital Dera initiative by the organisation Agriculture Republic. The word ‘Dera’ denotes a gathering space in a village, common in many parts of South Asia. Agriculture Republic, co-founded by Aamer Hayat Bhandara, has adopted this concept to initiate ‘Digital Dera’ where farmers are connected through digital networks in order to find solutions to the issues related to farming. Digital Dera is based in the Pakpattan district, Punjab region in Pakistan, where smartphones and even 2G networks are rare.
The second video story covers the case of Longhouse in Sarawak state on Borneo Island, Malaysia. A conversation with Gary and the team reveals that it was the desire to promote tourism in the area that led them to explore community networking through access to digital platforms. They created WiFi access points, initially building the network upon the existing electricity lines. As of now, nine Longhouses are situated around Sibu town, separated by a distance of around 300 to 700 metres.
Rainkhol is a village in Chhattisgarh state of India where no Internet Service Provider has spread its reach. Interviews of the villagers reveal that the lack of network results in denial of access to essential services such as medical emergencies, online learning, money withdrawal for pensioners, etc., despite cases of being cheated by fake service centres. They have to travel to the next village to place calls, avail government services through online mode and so on, spending a lot more time and effort.
CNX Case Ziro Valley
Life in the scenic village named Ziro has been going on, almost completely forgetting that the Internet exists. Airtel is the sole internet service provider in the region the use of which is not spread to all areas. They have to travel to the main town of Ziro to use the internet for any official purpose. The Digital Empowerment Foundation has set up an office at Ziro which is also a centre for giving basic computer training to students of the age group 7 to 25 years.
CNX Case Chirala
The Internet centre by ISOC at Chirala, 7 km from the main town towards the coast, is widely used by the villagers for purposes such as Aadhar enrollment, obtaining caste and marriage certificates, bank transactions, educational resources, entertainment and so on. The coastal area faces poor connectivity that forces the residents to go to the next town for availing internet facilities. The implementation of the project is located in internet dark zones which lack access to education, information, entitlements, and rights, and have successfully deployed wireless networks in Chirala Fisherman Community.
CNX Case Assam
Assam has been providing India and the rest of the world with high quality tea for the last 150 years now. Any visitor going to Assam will experience the aroma and savor the unique malty flavor of Assam tea. The Internet Roshni project aims at digitally empowering tribes working and living in 50 gardens across the five districts of Tinshukia, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Cachar, and Hailakandi in Assam, regions where more than half of the world’s tea is produced and communities that do not have a script to their language. A Community Internet Library is set up in each tea garden, with WiFi service, envisioned as a digital access point.
CNX Case CR Bolo
Radio Bulbul in Odisha is born under the entrepreneurship of a previous DEF member who went back to his village with the determination to bring some change over there. Apart from a village school, he set up the community radio and also brought a community network to Bhadrak village of Odisha with the help of others. The Radio is broadcasting from their small office various content on agriculture, youth, education and also some special programmes, aiming at spreading the right information.