Category Archives: Hyderabad

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Social Media for Democracy

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A couple of weeks back, my Uncle- a Social Entrepreneur called me and asked if I was interested in doing a conference on The Role of Social Media in Democracy on behalf of my firm, along with 2 other non-profits.

I took some time, asked my colleagues and jumped into it. I’ve always been inquisitive about Social Media and it’s applications across diverse domains. With democracy coming into the picture, it does look like a lethal combination. I gave a thumbs up and we set about looking for the right speakers for the various themes.

By God’s grace, it’s all gone well with a few minor hiccups here and there.

Today, Social Media is a lot more than having simple & friendly interactions on Facebook & Twitter. It has become the most potent tool for reaching out to the masses & spreading awareness about various issues.

Alec Ross, senior advisor on innovation and technology at the US department of State had said- “One of the greatest benefits of social media for government’s relationship with citizens is the way in which it helps strengthen democracy. “At the core of democracy is citizen participation. The more our citizens are using social media for the purpose of electioneering, communicating with government and engaging, the more robust it makes our democracy”

The conference should ideally be attended by social entrepreneurs, social media enthusiasts and pros, media persons, change-makers, students and active citizens

This conference is being jointly organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung ( MICCI (, COVA ( & Dot Now Social (

For the detailed itinerary, kindly go here

To join the event on Facebook, click here

Also, we’ll be tweeting live from the event. Here’s the hashtag- #sm4d

There’ll be 5 sessions and each session will consist of the following topics.

Day 1:

Session 1: Social Media- Power to People? (History of Social Media, Overview of Social Media Landscape, Applications of different Social media platforms)

Session 2: Role of Social Media in Strengthening Democracy: Strategies and Applications (Successful Social Media Strategies, Case Study- Jan Lokpal Movement)

Session 3: Can Social Media Change Power Structures? (Role of Social Media in Changing Community Equations, Social Media for Democratization and Transformation of Rural and Tribal Societies, Application and Impact of Social Media on Governance, Application of Social Media for Effective and Transparent Policing)

Day 2:

Session 4: Should Government Monitor / Regulate Social Media (Misuses of Social Media- An Overview of Cyber Crimes, Impact of Social Media on other media, Prevailing Regulation Policies in different countries and their impact on Freedom of Speech)

Session 5: Open Forum

The questions we explore during the event may not be totally new, but they are questions worth reconsidering through a new, composite lens: What role can social media play in democracy?

Looking forward eagerly to the event.

P.S: To follow the proceedings from the comfort of your home/office, kindly follow #sm4d on Twitter. Thanks


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Rang De- Empowering the Impoverished

I had come across Rang De for the first time in March 2010, when I visited an expo by ITsAP at Hyderabad. The first thing that caught my attention was the name itself. I saw a couple of enthusiastic people in Rang De jerseys explaining about their concept and the change they’re trying to make, to everyone who showed interest to stop by and see what this stall was all about. I did the same and was really swept off my feet when I heard about low cost Microcredits for the rural and impoverished people
Never in my wildest dreams did I think, that the peer-to-peer lending model could be leveraged to lower the cost of microcredit and in fact, reach out to under-served and impoverished communities. Here was an honest and sincere effort by a determined team of individuals spread over Chennai and Hyderabad to make a change, for the people, for the country. Having formed in 2008, they’ve grown by leaps and bounds and made their presence felt in other parts of the country, notably Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and even parts of USA. Ace film maker Nagesh Kukunoor and yesteryear actress Waheeda Rehman are the brand ambassadors of this movement.
The name Rang De aptly stands for colour and exuberance which the Rang De team believes in filling the lives of the people they reach out to with, and eventually make poverty history in India.
I wish Rang De all the Luck and Success and encourage everyone else to come and be a part of this movement to make India a more developed and poverty-ridden nation.

More about Rang De…
Rang De is a pioneering web-based social initiative with a mission to provide cost-effective microcredit to low income households in India. Through an online platform (www.RangDe.Org), Rang De enables people to participate in microcredit by lending as little as Rs. 100.

Rang De has reached out to over 5900 entrepreneurs across 12 states by lending Rs. 31mn. Rang De currently funds business, education, and artisan loans. Rang De is a registered non-profit trust.

Details: You might want to read through our FAQs for a comprehensive understanding of Rang De –
Support: Microcredit, Peer-to-peer lending, individual social responsibility, online lending, philanthropy
Note: – More Corporates to participate in our corporate connects program (one time donation which will be rotated as social investments).
– More people to blog about Rang De and on the Rang De blog also. 

– Social media advisors to help us on how to take our social media strategy forward
– Java/JSP Developers who are interested in working for Rang De full time for at least a year.
– Funding for our operations.

This post is a part of BlogAdda’s Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. 
You can too with three simple steps. Visit and support the NGO’s.