With the country slowly reopening and the situation returning to relative normalcy, many would think that the use of the digital technologies on which we relied so heavily during the country-wide lockdown for our basic communication needs would fade away.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth for our member cooperatives at SEWA Cooperative Federation and their membership. Through the months of August, September and October 2020, we have continued building the capacities of women workers to communicate using free-to-use apps.
Our capacity building team recently helped our members learn the basics of WhatsApp and Zoom to enable them to go beyond the basics of messaging each other. Features like making individual and group video calls, and creating broadcast groups were explored and tested so that members could understand basic use cases upon which they could build.
These tools have enabled our sisters to better engage with one another not just locally but across the country. Our sisters are now able to effectively participate in and facilitate multi-location events like webinars and board meetings which were previously limited to those with access to a few urban geographies.
Apart from these more logistical needs, our members’ collective enterprises have also started using some of these tools to facilitate their outreach and marketing efforts when coupled with our workshops on cellphone photography.
SEWA Lilotri, for instance, has started using WhatsApp groups to market our agricultural produce from our member cooperatives. Also, click here to see how Aarogya Sevikas from Lok Swasthya SEWA Trust are using WhatsApp to disseminate COVID health guidances.
While our capacity-building work is specific to helping our sisters access certain opportunities, it allows them to innovate different use cases and use their newfound knowledge creatively.