The Mumbai Beehive launch and Symposium on Digital Inclusion
The Mumbai Beehive, www.mumbai.thebeehive.org/ a community portal built in partnership of Pratham InfoTech Foundation and One Global Economy was officially launched on the 6th of April, 2013 at Rangswar auditorium, Y. B. Chavan Centre, Mumbai. This portal aims at improving the lives of the under privileged communities across Mumbai. It contains articles in Hindi and Marathi that provides basic and locally relevant information about money, livelihood, health, education and agriculture, which is important for the target audience in order to expand their opportunities for economic livelihood and improve their abilities for informed decision making.
The Chief guests for the day were Mr. Kumar Ketkar, Chief editor, Dainik Divya Marathi, Dr. Madhav Chavan, Co-founder and CEO-President, Pratham and Mr. Moustafa Mourad, President, One Global Economy, USA.
People from various fields and backgrounds were present. These included subject matter experts, health professionals, agriculturists, authors and educationists all in full strength. PIF’s instructional materials were displayed as well as laptops were arranged for everyone to browse through the Mumbai Beehive once it is launched.
The day began with Mr. Prem Yadav, Director, Pratham InfoTech Foundation welcoming everyone. This was followed by an informative video on PIF and its mission.
The Mumbai Beehive was formally launched by our renowned chief guest, Mr. Kumar Ketkar. The portal was then explained through a detailed and at the same time entertaining video. Mr. Vijay Vashishtha, Editor, The Mumbai Beehive (Hindi), shared his experience through his journey of the making of the portal, which was fun as well as a learning experience for all associated with it. Mr. Vinit Masavkar, Sub editor, Pune Beehive and Mumbai Beehive (Marathi) also shared a few words on his Pune Beehive experience. Pravin Dhopat, Editor, Pune Beehive also shared his experience.
Ms. Elizabeth Kountze, Director of Partnerships, OGE, spoke about the initiative towards Digital Inclusion, its importance and what are the steps being taken. The Digital Community Connectors program was launched last year and one of our Connector, Vinayak Tanksale shared his learning as being a community connector through the past year.
The content contributors of the Mumbai Beehive, our Community Connectors as well as the Mumbai Beehive team were felicitated. This was a moment of great honour and encouragement for all of them. This brought an end to the first part of the program.
The second half of the day was of importance and relevance to PIF’s journey towards Digital Inclusion. A symposium on ‘Digital Inclusion: Challenges and Opportunities’! Mr. Moustafa Mourad, spoke on the meaning of IT Adoption. He said that this happens only when enough poor people find value in IT and make it part of their everyday life. There is a need to work towards de-glamorizing Information Technology and this is exactly what the Beehive seeks to address.
Mr. Kumar Ketkar, stressed on how the world is changing towards democratization of ideas and imagination. This is the new civilization. ‘The future is already here.’
Dr. Madahav Chavan spoke of how digital literacy is really about the pathways that are being created on the one hand and the tremendous store of knowledge or information that is available on the other. He said that we need to consciously think about how we can change the world and we must take Beehive very seriously going forward and make sure it becomes a part of something large- The bigger change that we want to bring about.
The day came to an end with Mr. Sachin Patil thanking The Beehive team, the content contributors, our supporter Symantec and all those present.


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