Our partner organization in India, Sri Ramachandra University, has applied to funding from Mahindra’s Spark the Rise for an innovative project that they are spearheading. E-MPOWER (E-technology for Management of Projects for Persons with Communication Disorders in Rural Areas) provides speech and hearing services to individuals in rural areas. Already helping every baby born with cleft lip in their region get surgery and speech therapy, the E-MPOWER team plans to develop an e-technology platform to make check-ups, follow-ups and interventions more efficient.

They worked really hard to mobilize the local student population to support this project via Facebook votes, with10 volunteer students going from university to university to find votes.  After amassing about 8,000 votes the team was invited to Mumbai to make a presentation to the jury.  They had to present a much more detailed proposal on the project, and they received some one-on-one mentoring from a Mahindra representative about making a business case for their work.  They qualified for a grant totalling about $7,800 CAD. 

Now, these finalists all have the opportunity to qualify for another, bigger grant, which will be announced on April 29th.  The jury then bases their final decision based on a weighting of 30% for the number of votes and 70% based on their assessment of the proposals.  First place winner receives $75,000, and the 2nd and 3rd place winners receive $35,000. 

This could be a really interesting pilot project that will assess how mobile technology could facilitate community-based rehabilitation. 

To find out more about E-MPOWER, click here. To find out about our partnership, click here.  Want to find out more about Mahindra Spark The Rise? Click here or check out their video below.

– This update was provided by Laura Lewis-Watts, Program Manager, who recently visited our partner project in India.