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$200,000 more for e-choupals
Business Standard - 17 Sep 2005

ITC has become the first Indian company and the second in the world to win this year's $100,000 Development Gateway Award for e-choupal initiative in rural India. ITC chairman YC Deveshwar received the award. Deveshwar said ITC would use e-choupals to deliver educational services and healthcare.

ITC would supplement the $100,000 award money with a matching contribution to support e-choupal's educational services programme in the coming months. The initiative would thus get additional funding of $200,000. ITC recently commenced a pilot project for providing rural health services through e-choupals.

The award recognizes ITC's e-Choupal as the most exemplary contribution in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the last 10 years. Its e-choupals contributed to development priorities like poverty reduction through its scale and replicability as the largest information technology corporate initiative in rural India. The e-choupal was chosen from 135 nominations from across the world. The award, previously known as the Petersberg Prize, was presented today in Beijing at the Development Gateway Forum by Frannie Laautier, vice-president of the World Bank Institute.

Deveshwar said e-choupals demonstrated that the private sector could achieve synergy between creating shareholder value and serving society. The e-choupals at present covered over 3.5 million farmers in 31,000 villages. When ready, the network would cover over 100,000 Indian villages and serve more than 10 million e-farmers.