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LifeLines-Agriculture toll free number rings in Uttarakhand

May 19, 2014

LifeLines-Agriculture service will seek to impart education and know-how on horticulture and farming and promote financial inclusion of these communities.

Uttarakhand/ New Delhi: OneWorld has launched its flagship agri-advisory information delivery service, LifeLines-Agriculture, for the benefit of farmers affected by last year's disaster in the North-India hill state of Uttarakhand. The ICT-based service will provide information, guidance and timely advice to farmers in the hilly state and respond to their multiple queries through a toll free number 1800 11 2500. For a start, the service was soft launched on a pilot basis in April 2014 in Uttarkashi district.

Partnering US-based IT major CISCO and Uttarakhand-based non-profit  Shri Jagdamba Samiti (SJS), LifeLines-Agriculture service will seek to impart education and know-how on horticulture and farming and promote financial inclusion of these communities. In addition, the initiative envisages building enterprise-wide capacity to support this programme.

The idea was conceived after the flashfloods struck Uttarakhand in June 2013 and caused loss of life, property and livelihoods. The problem was compounded in the agriculture sector because farmers in Uttarakhand work in harsh terrain and the fragile ecosystem makes farming a challenging proposition for them. Limited communication facilities hinder timely help.

On its part, the initiative seeks to empower communities dependent on critical ecosystem resources by providing them with alternative and sustainable livelihood opportunities, with a view to enable the people in the disaster-hit region recover from disaster. The service can also double up as a helpline at the time of any subsequent crisis and help in disaster mitigation. In doing so, it will also address ecological conservation, given especially the biodiversity of the environment sensitive region.

OneWorld has rich experience in providing telephony-and-web based farm-advisory services to farmers in the Hindi heartland and more recently in Uttar Pradesh. LifeLines was originally launched in September 2006 by OneWorld in collaboration with British Telecom and Cisco Systems and has already served about two lakh farmers in Uttar Pradesh.  A much recognized initiative, LifeLines has won the Special US Congressional Recognition to LifeLines; Award for Social Responsibility to the LifeLines alliance between One World, BT, and Cisco by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals; Tech Awards Laureate by the Tech Museum of Innovation, and Big Tick Award, UK’s most prominent CSR award.

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