Sahaj Rural Entrepreneurs: changing the face of rural India

					Details of the Applicant (filing the nomination)

First Name* Ananta Prasad
Last Name* Mishra
Designation* State Head, Odisha
Email of the Applicant* anantaprasad.mishra@sahaj.co.in
Organisation Name* Sahaj eVillage Limited
Organisation Website* http://sahajcorporate.com/
Organisation Address* Sahaj e-Village Limited
Address Line 1 10/B, Topsia Mirania Garden, Plot No # 43 Road (East)
City* Kolkata
State / Province / Region* West Bengal
Postal / Zip Code* 700046
Country* India
Telephone No. (with country code) 033-6602 3282
Mobile No. (with country code)* 09777457601

Details of the Agency implementing the project/initiative (if applicable)

Name of the organization: Sahaj e-Village Limited
Address: 10/B, Topsia Mirania Garden, Plot No # 43 Road (East)
City: Kolkata
State / Province / Region: West Bengal
Postal / Zip Code: 700046
Country: India
Name of the Head of Organization: M. Sanjay Panigrahi
Designation: Chief Executive Officer
Telephone No. (with country code) 033 6602 3282
Mobile No. (with country code): 9007104797
E-mail: panigrahi.sanjay@sahaj.co.in
Alternate E-mail:

Programme / Project Title / Initiative: Sahaj Rural Entrepreneurs: changing the face of rural India

(Not more than 60 words)*
Programme / Project Website*

Details of the Programme/Project/Initiative

Brief Description
(Maximum word limit of 200 Words)*
Sahaj e-Village Limited, a Venture Initiative of Srei, has taken the initiative of building rural
infrastructure in the country on an information and technology platform under the NeGP of the
Government of India. The local enterprise drives the business and ensures that local customers
are served almost 24X7. There are several VLEs who are consistently clocking an income in the
range of Rs. 30-40,000 per month and these numbers are increasing. The project has gathered
momentum going by the earnings and the revenues of the VLEs and Sahaj.

The mega project envisages the setting up of 3648 ekiosks in Odisha offering a host of B2B, B2C
and G2C services. The establishment of these centres in remote rural areas would help achieve
equitable ICT growth in the country and help bridge the Digital Divide.

Objective
(Maximum word limit of 150 Words)*
The VLEs are effective “change agents” who provides a structured platform for socially inclusive
community participation and collective developmental activities. Such change is proposed to be
undertaken through three important components:
       (i)   A Public Private Partnership (PPP) Framework
       (ii) Rural Entrepreneurship and Market Mechanisms
       (iii) Government policy and support

A VLE–
    1. Provides citizen centric services of the State and Central Government efficiently through the
       CSCs across rural India;
    2. Enhances accountability and transparency of Government services to the citizen;
    3. Provides efficient and cost effective methods of service delivery through various departments
       and agencies;
    4. Allows private and social sectors to collaborate with the Government to provide all urban
       services to rural India;
    5. Increases employability through focused industry facing education. Sahaj incessantly works
       toward the goal of transporting knowledge and modern information technology to rural India.
       Nearly 12350 students are benefiting from Sahaj e-Learning project.

Target group*
Rural consumers across the 16 districts of Odisha

Geographical Reach*
Provide services in 16 districts of Odisha – Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur,
Sonepur, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur,
Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri.


Date from which the project became operational* 2008
Is the project still operational?* Yes

Highlight 5 achievements of the Programme/Project/Initiative
   1. Out of the mandated 3648 CSC-s Sahaj has already rolled more than 2400 centers.
   2. There are reduced migration and more instances of youth giving back to their society within
      their village. Sahaj VLEs have been encouragingly worked towards making the rural population
      literate through Sahaj’s innovative range of eSikhsha products. Till date 12350 students have
      already been registered under Sahaj eSikhsha (e-Learning) project.

   3. Sahaj has explored avenues to enhance its range of services through tie-ups with
      Government as well as Private and Business houses so as to make the life of rural
      Indians easier. We started with around half a dozen services and, today, we have more
      than thirty different kinds of services. Sahaj has recently brought the assistance of the
      service to book farm machineries.
   4. Sahaj has been successful in enfranchising rural enterprise. A Village Level Entrepreneur or VLE
      for Sahaj is more than just a medium through whom the various government, business and
      educational services are meted out to the rural populace. He is the first point of advocacy,
      marketing and mobilization, seeking a change in business-as-usual of the community, publicizing
      his business and creating loyalty among the customers for repeat transactions.
   5. Sahaj has also ensured installation of the Online Monitoring Tool for ease of monitoring
      by the SLA & DIT, GoI.

Highlight 5 major challenges faced while implementing the
Project/Programme/Initiative and how they were overcome?
   1. Connectivity issues in difficult terrains in remote corners in rural India, hence poses
      another challenge.
   2. Factors such as gender inequality, religious communal difference, self-centered political
      leader, party and corruption, intermittent, inconsistent electrical power, etc. pose
      another set of challenges in the implementation of the CSC project.
   3. There are often problem that arise with the room-space for the Common Service Center
      (CSC). Acquiring the space for setting up of the CSC can be delayed or even stalled due
      to certain administrative and political problems at the grassroots level.
   4. Consumer mindset often poses a challenge. Rural consumers are often found slow to
      adopt new purchase methods.
   5. Lack of enough G2C services prevents CSCs from gathering footfall to their fullest
      potential. We at Sahaj, have seen even 300% rise in footfall upon introduction of
      relevant G2C services. This certainly ensures sustainability of the enterprise as well as
      economic stability.

				
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Description: Sahaj e-Village Limited, a Venture Initiative of Srei, has taken the initiative of building rural infrastructure in the country on an information and technology platform under the NeGP of the Government of India. The local enterprise drives the business and ensures that local customers are served almost 24X7. There are several VLEs who are consistently clocking an income in the range of Rs. 30-40,000 per month and these numbers are increasing. The project has gathered momentum going by the earnings and the revenues of the VLEs and Sahaj.