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New Delhi, Dec 03 2015: Imagine looking around and not being able to see a single tree, bird, butterfly or even a bee! What if you had access to all the relevant facts of these species on a single platform to create a sustainable planet? Apps for Good, an initiative by Gurgaon based EarthWatch Institute India, is a wakeup call for people to develop an information bank and engage in logical, participatory conversations and activities.

Initiatives like these deserve merit and encouragement for supporting the larger goal of Sustainable development for a Digital India.

Vodafone Foundation in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation (through NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum) today, announced the winners for this year’s edition of its flagship initiative ‘Mobile for Good Awards’ at a grand event in Delhi. Committed to mobilising social change by leveraging the power and potential of the mobile technology, the Mobile for Good awards acknowledge and support ideas and concepts from NGO/NFPs that effectively and efficiently empower communities and change lives in their own unique way.

This year, 12 winning innovations were recognised across two categories – ‘Leading Change Maker – NPO’ and ‘Leading Change Maker – For Profit’. Innovative mobile driven solutions in four critical areas of Health, Education, Agriculture & Environment and Women Empowerment & Inclusive Development were selected from both the categories. This year, a special award was also given to the best Government led innovative mobile solution.

The five winning NPOs, were also awarded INR 1.2 million each and will be mentored by the best in the industry to expand and upscale their capacity, improve project monitoring and enhance impact evaluation of their projects.

Announcing the winners, Sunil Sood, MD & CEO, Vodafone India, said, “The most exciting thing about being a part of the telecom sector is empowering people through connectivity. The government has made inclusive growth central to its agenda and embarked on several initiatives to deliver development to the very last mile through a ‘Digital India’ and a ‘mobile first’ approach. We are celebrating the fifth year of Vodafone Foundation’s mobile for good awards in India and are delighted to support emerging new talent in developing ideas which are translating the vision of Digital India into reality. Today, with over a billion mobile phone subscriptions in the country, the ubiquitous reach of the mobile makes it the most relevant channel for last mile outreach. At Vodafone, we believe that mobile technology and platform can address some of India’s critical social and developmental challenges in both rural and urban communities.”

Congratulating the winners Chief guest Mr J. S. Deepak, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information and technology, Government of India said “The target for our government is to increase the access to technology and therefore transparent governance to the last citizen. Digital India is now a reality in making. It is against this background that we see the work of Vodafone Foundation & NASSCOM Foundation in recognising grass root applications bringing about transformative change sin lives of citizens. I congratulate all the participants of Mobile for Good awards 2015.”

This year, The Mobile for Good Awards were powered by NASSCOM Foundation through its Technology for Good Platform – NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum (NSIF). Through this first time partnership, the organisations in a remarkable collaborative effort were able to garner great of amount of national awareness.

Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “NASSCOM Foundation, in its quest to create a truly inclusive India, has been at the forefront of promoting the use of technology for social good. By 2020, the mobile phone is slated to penetrate to up to 94% of our country with over 1.3 billion subscribers. In Vodafone Foundation, we found an apt partner to strengthen the ecosystem for social innovation through mobile telephony. This collaboration, for the Mobile for Good awards 2015, is an extension of the vision of the two organisations, to transform lives through mobile-based solutions and drive scalable inclusive growth.”

On this occasion, Vodafone also announced the launch of ‘Social Apps Hub’ – a first-of-its-kind marketplace to curate all socially impactful mobile apps on a single platform, which will go live in January 2016.

Commenting on the same, P Balaji, Director – Regulatory & External Affairs, Vodafone India, said, “The Mobile for Good Awards programme is designed to recognise and support emerging talent and innovative mobile solutions from NGOs and ‘For profit’ enterprises that facilitate community empowerment and inclusive growth. This year, Vodafone Foundation received 245 entries for the Mobile for Good Awards, of which 27 were shortlisted for the final round. Among these, 12 winning NGOs and For Profit organizations with innovative mobile solution ideas in the areas of Health, Education, Agriculture & Environment, Women Empowerment & Inclusive Development and Government Solutions were recognised. The partnership with NASSCOM Foundation is aligned to this vision and we are delighted to have been able to collaborate with them this year. Together, we have successfully identified more mobile innovations and innovators from across the country. The Social Apps Hub, which will launch in January 2016, will help us continue on this journey.”