Tablet in every hamlet

17000 ft foundation and Ladakh government joint effort

Chances are that you might have missed this young Ladakhi girl’s sweet message on Independence Day. Make your day, watch it.

She is from Middle School Ayu Saboo, Ladakh.

On July 30 2020, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council rolled out 900 educational tablets preloaded with educational videos, stories, and games and powered by the rays of the sun. The learning initiative is titled ‘Tablet in Every Hamlet’ and locally called ‘Ladakh Digi Yountan’. 

The initiative finds strong support from 17000 ft Foundation — a nonprofit working in Ladakh for the last eight years — to bring tech-driven changes in remote and off-the-grid public schools across Leh and Kargil districts. The campaign is being executed by DigiLab - 17000 ft foundation’s one of the programs to electrifying and providing digital access in rural schools.

The DigiLab is an in-school, solar powered, standalone, hybrid-online learning system with customized, personalised, and adaptive digital content for students, which also tracks and monitors performance, delivering near real-time reporting via a last-mile connectivity app manned by a team of traveling facilitators.

Providing further details ScooNews writes: “Under this program, each school is provided with a fully furnished lab, Solar and Digital Infrastructure, Training and the support needed to function. Each 10” Tablet is loaded with a personalized Digital Learning App customized to the local Board in Math, EVS/ Science, English Reading/Grammar, General Knowledge, and Non-academic content like stories, videos, and games, aimed at increasing exposure, increasing comprehension, and foundational clarity.”

Launched in association with Axis Bank, DigiLabs is enabling digital learning to remote, inaccessible, and off-the-grid schools of Ladakh, through offline digital solutions that depend neither on the presence of electricity nor mobile connectivity.

“Children need to charge the tablet at home during the three hours that electricity is available in the villages at night. After two weeks, they return to the school to hand over the tablet to their teachers who then sync their activities to the cloud. The tablets are then passed on to the second set of students while the first batch continues to study from worksheets and textbooks. It’s rotational. Teachers make the synced data available to the district administration,” says Sujata Sahu founder at 17000 ft Foundation.

In addition to digital learning, the foundation has been running multiple programs such as Voluntourist@17000ft(A person on a vacation for an altruistic activity intended to promote good or improve human quality of life), Bhoti@17000ft(storybooks for children), to name a few. The complete list of ongoing work is listed under the programs section on the website.

The simple and informative website does the job of telling the work, impact, and ways to get involved with the cause.

However, the nonprofit lacks when it comes to the world of online fundraising. To start with the website isn’t mobile optimised. The donation page needs a complete revamp, also the online donation is throwing error. Storytelling has been largely based on social media, which is not bad but would you not want to hold your content.

Over the years nonprofits have been dependent on offline modes of funding. With the advent of social media, nonprofits started using it to promote themselves, their work, and minutely looked at online fundraising.

COVID19 changed everything and suddenly nonprofits have been hit hard with a lot of things, including online fundraising. So it will take time and nonprofits like 17000 ft can start with an efficient website because that is the most important aspect of online fundraising.

Or a quick fix would be partnering with online fundraising platforms such as Milaap, Ketto, Impactguru, etc. Just like one of the donation campaigns related to COVID19 relief is running on Imapactguru.

While I understand any form of online fundraising initiative will involve funds, a challenge for most nonprofits. But one can’t ignore the realities.

Earlier this week I had shared how Teach For India’s #DontStopLearning is working to bridge the digital divide in India. Sponsor a device to help bridge the digital divide in the country is the campaign call.

17000 ft Foundation is taking it one step further by providing tech-enabled education solutions to students living in the high mountain desert of Ladakh where schools lie scattered across 60,000 sq km without electricity, phone connectivity, or roads, and take anywhere from two hours to three days to reach.

And I love the enthusiasm of this young soul.

More power to you Stanzin and 17000 ft Foundation ♥️