When we piloted our operations in April 2016 in a small locality in Pune, Maharashtra, we just had 22 community entrepreneurs—who we call Haqdarshaks—trained on our mobile app that connects citizens to government and private welfare schemes. Today, we have more than 1,500 Haqdarshaks across nine states in the country.
This army of Haqdarshaks is going door-to-door across the country: from the remote villages in Raigad, Maharashtra, to the slums of Delhi, they cover a vast geography. They are giving citizens hope. Hope that the administration will help them make their ends meet, help their children get access to a good education and support their old parents. Take the example of Sathuram in Rajasthan, who got his labour card, with the assistance of our Haqdarshak. “I tried a lot of agencies to get this done, but Haqdarshak’s service was the easiest because I got everything at my doorstep without paying a lot,” he says.
In Delhi, Rajan got to know about various government schemes his family members were eligible for, and also got his daughter’s birth certificate done. In Maharashtra, we have been successfully helping citizens open Sukanya Samriddhi accounts for securing their daughters’ future, among other schemes.
The stories are innumerable. From our inception until now, we have processed over 20,000 transactions that include screenings, applications and prints. We are partnering and working with some big names--Tata Trusts, Save the Children, Pradan, Swades Foundation, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal, to name a few.
We’ve definitely come far. But we have to go farther.
Now, we need your help in making our network stronger, and to take our services to every poor citizen in India. Haqdarshak has been named as one of the the top 15 finalists in the enterprise category in the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2017. Only three participants from India have made it and we are among them. All you need to do is go to the voting link (click here), and vote for Haqdarshak. Voting ends on Sept. 22.
We are grateful for all the support we’ve received this far, and we hope to see it grow.
Thank you, from team Haqdarshak!
As India celebrates its independence, here’s how Haqdarshak is trying to make Indians financially independent
The world’s largest democracy celebrates its 70th Independence Day today. India has seen its population grow four fold over the last seven decades. But still, at least 22% of its 1.34 billion population is struggling to make ends meet. While official figures suggest the poverty rate has fallen over the years, more than 200 million people—as the World Bank estimates—still live below the poverty line in the country.
These Indians need economic independence and financial freedom. At Haqdarshak, we are trying to do just that. To become financially independent, citizens need the support from critical stakeholders in the society. The government is the crucial link in this cycle. And citizens are entitled to the benefits that governments provide by way of welfare schemes. Haqdarshak is using technology to make citizens aware, and help them apply for the schemes they are eligible for. We’ve reached more than 20,000 Indians and processed more than 1,200 transactions in a short period of just 16 months. Our database has around 1,794 schemes and we continue to grow the number.
For years, Indians in the hinterlands have been unaware of the numerous schemes the government has designed for them. But technology has made it possible to bring them closer to what they are entitled for. Through our operations in 9 Indian states, we are strengthening this movement of financial independence. Not only are we giving citizens access to schemes, we are building an army of community entrepreneurs, called Haqdarshaks, who go door-to-door and use our app to create awareness and give people what they deserve. These Haqdarshaks also earn a livelihood during the process.
Some of our stories—that come from both these groups—show why our work is important in making India truly independent.
Voices from the ground
Take for instance the story of Rizwana from Parbhani, Maharashtra. Rizwana was screened by our Haqdarshak Sheela Rode and was eligible to apply for the Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme for her daughter. Sukanya Samriddhi is a small-savings deposit scheme for girls. The scheme was launched under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, and provides a girl child (all females aged below 10 are eligible to open an account) a secure future with a healthy rate of interest. Rode helped Rizwana apply for the scheme and she received the benefit for her daughter who now has a financially independent, secure future.
“I was not aware of any schemes, but Sheela madam (a Haqdarshak) told me about HESPL. I got to know of more than 35 schemes that I was eligible for. I opened a Sukanya account and now I have received the benefit under it,” says Rizwana.
It’s not just direct financial-benefit schemes that are boosting economic freedom. Rode recollects helping a family with three children and a sole earning member (an auto rickshaw driver) with the Jan Aushadhi Yojana, which provides medicines at affordable rates through dedicated stores. The mere knowledge that such stores exists prompted the family to buy medicines from these outlets and reduced their monthly medical expenses to Rs200 from Rs600 earlier.
Small monthly savings like these are yet another step to make poor Indian citizens better equipped financially and move towards economic freedom. While we help citizens through schemes, we are also supporting village-level entrepreneurs by training them to become Haqdarshaks and create a sustainable livelihood for them. Many women have become self-sufficient in the process and don’t have to depend on their husbands for financial needs. If this is not financial freedom, then what is?
In Delhi, our 21-year-old Haqdarshak, Aarti Singh has become a trusted face in the community because of her commitment to serve the society. A student of social work, and an Aanganwadi Helper, Singh has used the Haqdarshak model to earn an additional source of income. A resident of what is considered as Asia’s biggest unauthorised colony, Sangam Vihar, Singh managed to earn some Rs2,000 during her first two days as an Haqdarshak and hasn’t looked back.
“On my second day as a Haqdarshak I was oozing with confidence as the people of community hoarded around to get their screening done,” Aarti says. “These are the same women from the community who would look at me with disagreement before I became their go-to person for schemes and documents.”
Other women, in Maharashtra for instance, have earned anywhere between Rs8,000 and Rs12,000 by working as Haqdarshaks. We’ve seen applications for a myriad of schemes ranging from loans for business to scholarships to farm equipment assistance to opening of bank accounts.
These are just a few of our success stories, but what we are aiming at is making poor Indians financially independent. That’s when India can really celebrate its freedom from the clutches of poverty.
Acknowledged for their commitment towards helping one another in achieving the benefits of various schemes that India Post has launched, our Haqdarshaks were facilitated at their staff annual award function in Alwar, Rajasthan on March 24th, 2017.
Photo: Our Isaathi Haqdarshaks from Alwar, Rajasthan with the award and certificate.
The award was conferred upon Team Haqdarshak for showing an exemplary record in
helping the department open 350+ accounts in a short span of time. The award ceremony was done by Mr. Amanpreet Singh (Senior Suprintendent Inspector of Post Offices Alwar)
Photo: Our field coordinator, Yogesh Sharma taking the award at the hands of Mr. Amanpreet Singh (Senior Suprintendent Inspector of Post Offices Alwar). .
A Haqdarshak is equipped with a mobile application through which she can conducts a screening of a citizen in a door-to-door service. For each individual, a list of schemes open up, post screening, that the citizen is eligible for. Upon agreement, a Haqdarshak also fills the forms, collects documents and applies for these schemes on behalf of the applicant.
These 25 Haqdarshaks have helped the department open up 275+- Jan Dhan accounts, 70+ Sukanya Samridhi Accounts, 8+ Atal Pension and 2+ Rural Post Life Insurance in Alwar District. Our top performer Pinky Ji has individually processed 105 applications.
Haqdarshak wants to extend gratitude to Mohan Singh Ji who invited and helped us achieve this goal.
Women’s day is not about giving women free spas, discount vouchers, buy one-get one free pizzas. It is about empowering them in truest sense, making them aware of their rights and freedoms, letting them get an education, be independent and free.
Haqdarshak is a platform that helps Indian citizens benefit from various welfare schemes and facilities that the state and individual entities have provided for. Mostly we are unaware of the provisions that we can utilise from, hence miss the initial steps that could push our journey ahead towards a better life.
Here are seven schemes from all over the country that one can use to help a girl child grow into a young confident and empowered woman.
As the day is celebrated to acknowledge the struggle that has gone into bridging the gap, breaking the glass ceiling, these schemes are just the starting points of making the girls step forward, out of their homes to attend schools, to have their own businesses, and to attain financial independence.
Get informed and share with the ones who can benefit the most.
Tata Isaathis, our Haqdarshaks at a Digital Fair in Faridabad, Haryana confidently spreading the word about various schemes.
Ladli aims to promote socio-economic development of the girl child by providing education-linked financial assistance to girls born in Delhi, which they can claim after they have passed class X and attained the age of 18 years.
Sukanya Samridhi Yojana
The scheme ensures savings accounts for the girl children at higher rate of interest: 8.6%. The account can be opened by a parent or a guardian.
The benefit is extended for a maximum of two girl children only of same parents, unless it is a triplet.
Right to Education
Be it a girl child or a boy child, RTE has been an instrumental scheme in taking us all to a highway to better lives. For girl children specifically,
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, ensures 25 per cent seats would be reserved in unaided schools of all boards from playgroup level to Class 8 for free education to be provided to disabled children or children belonging to economically weaker section or those belonging to deprived castes or minority religious groups. For girl children specifically, this is a very helpful first step to move forward as empowered women.
Apki Beti, Hamari beti
In Haryana to level up the gender ratio, the Ministry of Women and Child Development have launched a financial aid scheme to the families where a girl child is born. All SC families whose 1st girl child is born on or after 22 January 2015 will receive one time grant of Rs.21,000/-
Education Loan Scheme under Haryana Women Development Corporation Ltd
Education Loan Scheme for female students to pursue higher education at Graduate/ Post Graduate/ Doctoral / Post Doctoral level in the country and abroad. Under this scheme Corporation will give interest subsidy of 5% to the banks to reduce burden on the student. Applicant can a domicile of Haryana or her parents must be employees of Govt Of Haryana.
Mahila Samrudhi Yojna
To make them women self reliant and self sufficient, this scheme provides for one time financial assistance up to Rs. 30,000 provided to women belonging to SC category earning an annual income of up to Rs. 1 lakh for setting up a business.
Mahila Adhikarita Yojana
The scheme aims to help Safai karamcharies/scavengers and their daughters. The scheme provides for loans of up to Rs 75000 to be provided to these women for small business at 5% interest rates.
Team providing information on scholarship schemes of Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) in Rajasthan - More than 100 applications processed in one week .
We hit off with the first training of the employees of Basix CSC centres in Nashik who will be using Haqdarshak app to inform citizens about the eligible schemes and support in end to end completion of the application process. It's a perfect match since the Basix team is extremely experienced in interacting with the government departments due to their day to day work and Haqdarshak mobile and web application will help them in screening citizens for their eligible schemes on a real time basis.
Now, all citizens in Nashik served by these CSCs can avail Haqdarshak service and get benefits under various schemes implemented by Government and Private Organisations. We will be gradually expanding the service to all centres across Maharashtra and India.
Training for the first batch of Haqdarshak's was conducted on April 08, 2016 ('Founding Day'). Since then we have held multiple trainings in urban and rural communities for deployment of Haqdarshak. They will be providing last mile service to each citizen to get benefits under eligible government and private schemes using our technology and in turn earning a livelihood and tons of satisfaction for themselves. Please write to us if you wish to work with us to make it possible at a big scale.
We are delighted to announce that Haqdarshak has been selected amongst the top 10 global innovations as part of the Global Innovation Challenge hosted during Sankalp Global Summit 2016. Global Sankalp Summit, an initiative of Intellecap, is one of the largest events in the world, connecting high-impact enterprises with other key players across the value chain to help them reach scale. The event was held in Mumbai from April 20-22, 2016. The Haqdarshak team thanks Sankalp team and the Jury members for recognizing us with this honor.
The event organized by Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI), IIT Delhi, and Tata Trusts brought together 25 organisations from 14 states at the IIT Delhi. These organisations were all working on noteworthy issues like improving access to electricity in rural areas, providing access to education to underprivileged communities, improving sanitation, and developing tech solutions to maximize social impact.