mLearning Project: m-Shakthi

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Videhi Bhamidi

Sep 26, 2012, 10:55:15 AM9/26/12


m-Shakthi (Shakthi is a Sanskrit term that meant power) - Educating women about Safety and Security measures via basic and featured phones and community support


     Type of mLearning

Women Safety and Security Awareness


3.   Project goal

In the wake of rising rate of Rape and Molestation cases in India, it becomes quintessential to educate women about basic rights and measures to protect themselves from the attackers. This mobile awareness program aims to a) spread the necessary and effective information that can help women stay safe and protect themselves at times of danger b) Safeguard other women when they sense danger.

Target audience

Indian women – Both urban and rural communities

Technology and infrastructure 

Type of Mobile Device:

  • Basic and Features phones among the rural women
  • Basic, Featured and Smart phones in the Urban cohort


I think it is best to assume the content types to be applicable for both the groups 

·         Voice (Free informative/educational calls in local languages)

·         Text (Free informative visual SMS pushed regulary),

·         Multimedia (Radio -Push some podcasts/ talks in collaboration with radio channels)

 In addition, the below elements might be directly applicable to some of the Urban group.

·         Videos,

·         Photos,

·         Apps,

·         Mobile social media

 Among these, Government can disseminate videos and photos to rural areas through community support, who could stream the information to a single TV set or big screen at Panchayats or Govt schools.


Integrate the below technical elements in the phone for effective and easy knowledge sharing:

  • Crisis Hot line –  Just like 100, 108, there should be a crisis line exclusively to alert the nearest police station/person
  •  Crowdmapping App ( integrated with the phones so that victims can voice/text the incidence inorder to alert others at times of crisis
  • OffenderLocator App ( integrated and updated via phones, for those women who can search and stay wary of the locations they would wander


·         As we target the most commonly held a) device types that is basic and featured phones b) with basic content types (voice, text, radio), the costs can be maintained easily.


·         We could plan to introduce Advertising based models - An Ad with every SMS, Voice, Radio announcement etc, which will keep up the funding and meet the minimal costs that we would incur.


·         Use FrontlineSMS - a free open source software platform that enables large-scale, two-way textmessaging using only a laptop, a GSM modem


·         Integrate Mobile Social Media - Stripped down FB - for those who cant afford 3G


·         Introduce Solar panels to combat electricity issues for charging a phone, in rural areas



·         Department of Police

·         Department of telecommunications

·         Department of Women welfare

·         NGOs – Example: Women Groups

·         Subject Matter Experts

Expected project roll out scenarios

After the woman in context is imparted with necessary safety awareness information (looks at her visual SMS, listens to educative information to stay safe, and watches tips/procedures on the TV sets etc), she will be aware of her situational knowledge, physical abilities and mobile affordances to fight the attack.

I am framing the below scenarios about the project roll out, with limited knowledge of remedial or safety measures and definitely have a lot more scope for better measures to fight molestation.


Rural Scenario:

When attacked, she could

a)   Use the pepper spray (that she learnt to prepare on Radio )

b)   Try the basic self-defensive skills (that she learnt on TV, Visual SMS)

c)   Call crisis line

d)   Be brave to make some noise to get attention (that she was assured via podcasts was acceptable without feeling shy)

e)   ….


Urban Scenario:

a)   Check the offenderlocator app to understand the possible danger zones in her areas of operation

In case of an attack:

b)   Use the pepper spray (that she learnt to prepare on Radio )

c)   Try the basic self-defensive skills (that she learnt on TV, Visual SMS)

d)   Call crisis line

e)   Be brave to make some noise to get attention (that she was assured via podcasts was acceptable without feeling shy)

f)    Use voice to crowd source information to others (that she learnt on mobile social media)



Steps to reach the mLearning goal

a.   Consult  Police/Media - Get the Analytics of these attacks – locations, timings, nature of attackers to update the crowd sourcing map, offender locator app

b.    Interviewing victims – what could have saved them?

c.    Interviewing subject matter experts –

                                         i.    Police & women welfare groups – for information safety and security measures

                                        ii.    NGOs – for community awareness

                                       iii.    Telecommunications – for infrastructure and funding

                                      iv.    Psychologists – for handling emotional turbulences, fear and anxiety

                                        v.    Voluntary Learning Designers – to design the program

d.   Drafting a mobile curriculum on –

                                         i.    Physical safety

                                        ii.    Emotional Safety

                                       iii.    Using the mobile features/facilities available for women

                                      iv.    (More to add, based on the inputs from the above groups)

e.     Piloting learning nuggets on

                                         i.    Rural women

                                        ii.    Urban women using public transport and travelling alone

f.     Feedback after 1 month to understand the usefulness and missing elements

g.   Rework and roll out

Problems you are not sure about?

 3G is expensive and poorly networked

Maybe whether women will be allowed to look at the information, or ask for help…


Message has been deleted

Videhi Bhamidi

Sep 26, 2012, 12:48:02 PM9/26/12
Hello All,

After witnessing the potential of mobile in education, I wanted to experiment by using it to raise safety awareness among Indian Women and fight molestation.

Please find the draft of my project idea attached and I sincerely welcome your feedback.

Videhi Bhamidi

m-Shakthi from Videhi Bhamidi.pdf


Sep 29, 2012, 8:10:10 AM9/29/12
Hi Videhi,
I really enjoyed the aim of your project.  I am well aware of some of the hardships women have in India with child trafficking, sex market etc.

I had a couple of questions:
a) Does language vary from village to village? Is there a common language across the country?
b) you talk about accessible to urban and remote women...what is the coverage?
c) one of your risks, was around women being allowed to use the technology to report.  

I am wondering whether there needs to be some Health Worker traning and maybe those HW engaging with the women specially in villages were they may be scared to speak up.

ET (Elizabeth)

Videhi Bhamidi

Sep 29, 2012, 12:43:52 PM9/29/12
Hi Elizabeth,

Pleased to see your interest in my idea. Yeah, you hit the long term goal that I had in mind by protesting against molestation - Stage 1. It is really a sad state of affair on the public humiliation and helplessness that women are facing. 

Coming to your questions,

a) Yes, India has  28 states and 7 union territories, which implies a unique language /mother tongue in every state. Although, there is a common national language named Hindi, it needs to be specially taught. For example, I hail from Andhrapradesh and my mother tongue is Telugu. Hence, the national language i.e. Hindi was taught to me in my schooling. So, it boils down to education again which is still an issue in remote villages [ Literacy rate in India has grown to 74.04% in 2011 from 12% in 1947 ].

(Makes me wonder, what do I fight for - Molestation or Literacy. Dreams and efforts continue!!)

Due to this language barrier, I suggested that the safety information to be imparted in their regional language or may be as visuals.

b) According to my solution, Network has two components: a) Cell phone coverage and reachability - This has come a long way in India and many network providers are confident of their coverage (instead of holding a phone in an unusual tip or spot for catching the signal :P). So, I can assert that people can reach others with few exceptions. b) 3G or Mobile broadband - This element is expensive, has limited coverage and is often restricted to those who can afford and residing in cities. 

c) Yeah,  I agree with you and would propose to seek help of health worker groups, NGOs – to have a dialogue and fill some courage among the women in rural groups.

Hope I clarified your questions.



Sep 29, 2012, 6:49:16 PM9/29/12
Hey, your project is great! we women need this.I also propose some Ku ngu fu lessons, a filipino friend is teaching me too- and my God aren't those simple baby kicks so awesome to kickoff any guy (stamp the foot and a head knock)!


Sep 29, 2012, 11:16:37 PM9/29/12
Yes, indeed. The proposed curriculum has it in already and I hope to gather the best tried and tested techniques to counter a guy.

Thanks for your suggestion.


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Lutz Siemer

Oct 2, 2012, 6:45:58 AM10/2/12

Kamakshi Rajagopal

Dec 13, 2012, 3:50:01 AM12/13/12
Dear Videhi,

Congratulations on this very interesting and timely proposal. I've also been following with anger and disgust the recent developments in India regarding women's safety - it is just unacceptable. 

What I would add to your proposal are some steps/activities to building local community. I think especially in this context, it is good to empower individual women, but also to enable them to create a strong, locally embedded community where molestation is regarded as unacceptable. 
I'm still not sure how to make this step concrete - something like regular collaborative knowledge sharing sessions (with concrete, self-defined, local action points) maybe?  


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