Project Umeed to set up digital libraries in rural India

The project is spearheaded by India-focused philanthropic organizations in the United States.

Digital Library in Alwar, Rajasthan / Sehgal Foundation 

Project Umeed, an initiative committed to promoting education and digital literacy in rural India, has launched a $1 million project to set up digital libraries in underserved communities.

The project launched through the partnership between US-based philanthropic organizations —Trees for Life, India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), Guru Krupa Foundation, and Sehgal Foundation will be implemented by the Harayana-based S M Sehgal Foundation in India.

"Fostering inclusive development and opportunity, Project Umeed will help to bridge the digital divide and equip rural schoolchildren in underserved areas in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Telangana with the tools and resources needed to thrive in the digital age," a statement by the Sehgal Foundation.

According to the release, the project has raised $900,000 so far. It requires another $100,000 from individual donors to meet the consequential goal during the India Giving Campaign.

Key features of the $1 million project include establishing digital libraries; capacity building and training programs; content development and curriculum enhancement; and community engagement and sustainability.

"Project Umeed will leverage innovative technology and infrastructure to establish fully equipped digital libraries in remote villages, providing schoolchildren and community members with access to computers, internet connectivity, educational software, and digital learning resources," the release stated. 

In addition, it will conduct targeted training sessions and workshops to enhance digital literacy skills among individuals of all ages. It will also collaborate with local educators, content creators, and subject matter experts to develop high-quality educational materials and curricula targeted to the needs and interests of rural India.

“We are delighted to embark on this transformative journey as we work together to realize the vision of Project Umeed. With the generous support and expertise of these partners, we are confident that our shared efforts will bring about positive change and create lasting opportunities for individuals and communities across rural India," stated Navneet Narwal, Project Umeed lead, S M Sehgal Foundation.