Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) was established in 2002 with a mission to empower marginalised communities in information dark regions of India to access, consume and produce information online using digital interventions and ICT tools. DEF aims to end information poverty and social backwardness by bringing about a digital revolution.
These community-based tourism organizations are our bridge to reach out to local communities and identify and support a new crop of digital storytellers.
Global Himalayan Expedition
Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) is a social enterprise dedicated to development of remote Himalayan communities through leveraging sustainable tourism and technology. We focus on providing basic energy access through installation of solar microgrids, creating digital education access through setup of computation labs and generating livelihood opportunities through community tourism. GHE till date has electrified 115 villages in Ladakh and Meghalaya and setup over 50 homestays in the villages.
Grassroutes Journeys is a national award winning social enterprise that aims to develop sustainable livelihoods in rural India through community-centered tourism enterprises – owned, managed and run by local communities. It is working across 17 financially sustainable village tourism centers in 4 states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Its rural tourism model has created over 15,000 days of employment annually, impacted about 700 households with alternate source of livelihoods, and helped in reverse migration and conservation of biodiversity.
Himalayan Ark is mountain community owned and run tourism enterprise based in Munsiari, Uttarakhand. They enable and guide deep dives into rural lives and cultures, as well as in natural history and high mountain conservation initiatives and adventures.
Himalayan Ecotourism is a social enterprise offering experiential tours and treks in Tirthan Valley, near the Great Himalayan National Park. They believe in sustainable development by promoting conservation and empowering locals, especially women.
Ecosphere is a social enterprise born out of love for Spiti Valley in 2002. It is deeply committed to building a sustainable future for its people by creating a responsive synergy between responsible travel and development. Their initiatives cover a broad spectrum – helping communities build resilience to climate change; enabling year round access to drinking water and green vegetables; carbon reduction and harnessing the abundantly available solar energy; reducing waste generated by travellers; enhancing health care access, diagnosis and treatment; supporting education for girls; helping to build community entrepreneurship and livelihoods that are linked to conservation; and initiatives to encourage and enable the growth of compassion among communities.