Empowering rural citizens to access government and private welfare schemes that can improve livelihoods
Haqdarshak is a technology platform connecting rural citizens with the government and private welfare schemes they are eligible for.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Pvt Ltd
Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
INDIA: Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Jharkhand, Haryana
We have reached thousands of citizens using technology and given them access to their entitlements. We believe information is a fundamental right and we are trying to make the process of information dissemination effective and easy.
Ours is a two-pronged approach because of our fee structure—which means our Haqdarshak (on-field entrepreneurs), who are largely women, also generate a source of income while helping citizens.
A short vide describing our model and impact.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Majority of government welfare schemes are targeted at those living below the poverty line. But citizens are hardly aware of these schemes especially in India's hinterlands. Even if they know about the schemes, the information is often inaccurate and confusing which keeps them away from applying for such schemes. Our technology aims to do away with such discrepancies. Our model is such that we have a two-pronged approach. To make these schemes accessible to citizens we train rural entrepreneurs who use our technology.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Haqdarshak is an artificial-intelligence powered mobile and web platform. The platform is used to screen citizens i.e to collect information and key it in. Once screened, the platform shows government and private welfare schemes that the citizen is eligible for. This eligibility is determined by our rule-mapping system which is updated at the backend by a team of researchers. Eligible schemes are displayed in the local language in an easy, lucid manner. This is primarily because we want to plug the information gap between citizens and their entitlements, which in this case are welfare schemes. Since internet connectivity and the use of smartphones is still not heavily penetrated in rural India, we train community-level field workers—largely women—to use our app. These field workers, go door to door and screen citizens, explain the eligible schemes and help in the application process, charging a small fee. Our solution is aimed towards poverty alleviation & creating incomes.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
In a span of 1 year, we have reached over 20,000 citizens and processed more than 4,000 applications for various state and central government schemes. We have trained around 2,500 community-level field workers, who we call Haqdarshaks and provided them a source of generating income. A majority of our Haqdarshaks are rural women who are now financially independent. The average monthly revenue earned by our Haqdarshaks is about Rs3,000-Rs4,000 which is a significant amount in rural areas. We have generated a revenue of more $100,000 for our Haqdarshaks and generated a livelihood for our women entrepreneurs who'd otherwise be working as farm labourers earning a meagre salary. Per month these Haqdarshaks generate an average revenue of $75. Further our research team has digitised more than 2500 government and private welfare schemes. The average benefit that a citizen has received is around Rs1,000 per month using the Haqdarshak service.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Currently we generated a chunk of our revenue , around 75%, coming from service contracts which we have entered with with trust, NGOs and self-help groups (SHG). We've realised that NGOs and SHGs often lack the technical know-how and we provide them that expertise. Some 15% of our revenues come from our operations and 10% from the grants that we have won. Going forward, we will focus on getting more revenue from our core operations: our Haqdarshaks pay us a service fee of Rs500 from the second month of their working. Going forward, we are targeting to increase the revenue from operations to be 40% of our budget and around 50% from service contracts. The remaining 10% will come from grants. We want to build a sustainable social enterprise using our operational and contract revenues.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Currently there is no service in India that maps individual schemes to citizens according to eligibility, provided at the doorstep. While there are generic websites & kiosks run by the government & NGOs, these have generic information about few schemes. Additionally the application process itself is explained vaguely. Our technology & eligibility mapping sets us apart from these existing services along with our doorstep services which ensures benefits are actually delivered.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
While I was working in the social sector on Right to Education Act, I came across a large section of people were unaware about government welfare schemes. The delivery of these schemes was poor and these citizens needed the information and support to access their entitlements. Over $150 billion is budgeted for government schemes every year in India but still about 300 million people don't have access to basic resources which should be rightfully theirs. That's when I realised there's a massive gap which needs to be plugged and I started work on Haqdarshak.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?