DOC Blog

Transforming rural lives with a phone

03 March 2009

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LifeLines - an innovative service brings a world of information right to the fields and farms of rural communities simply on the dial of a phone!

Lokendra Singh is a farmer in Sakrar in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh in India, who grows mustard. The last three years were bad for him. His crop was infected with Mahu and he incurred quite some expenses trying to control the disease, but in vain.

Then he came to know of someone who apparently used to help farmers with information related to agri-queries at a very nominal cost.

FC with farmer

This person was a field info-mediary for an agri-information service - LifeLines - that provides advisory to farmers over the telephone.

Initially skeptical about the service, Lokendra nevertheless thought of trying it out once.


The disease that he was not able to control in three years was brought under control visibly. And he cannot help thanking the service that saved his crop.

And this is what made all the difference!

Today Lokendra is an enthusiastic fan of LifeLines… and he is just one among thousands of farmers who endorse LifeLines and the value it has added to their livelihoods...

LifeLines - A world of information just a phone call away...

The LifeLines service was introduced to provide critical information to rural farming communities on issues they deal with in their daily livelihoods. This may range from 'which best crop to cultivate in a drought-prone area' to 'which market to sell one's produce in.' LifeLines addresses all these information needs and more, conveniently through the medium of the telephone.

LifeLines Logo

The service was launched in September 2006  in collaboration between BT, CISCO and OneWorld as a digital inclusion initiative for developing world communities to bridge the digital divide and better their livelihood opportunities.

Started initially to serve the knowledge needs of the agriculture sector, the LifeLines service has now been extended to serve in the educational domain also.

Cumulatively the service covers 6 states in India - where it caters to farming communities as an agri-advisory helpline in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and as an education support service it serves teachers in West Bengal and Rajasthan.

Till date LifeLines has covered over 100,000 farmers across 2000 villages and nearly 14,000 teachers across 5262 schools.

Entering the third year into its operations LifeLines has been able to demonstrate the potential of ICT assisted information delivery in bringing about transformations in people's lives across over 2000 villages.

The journey of LifeLines since it commenced in September 2006, has been peppered with successes and recognitions both in India and abroad.

The service partnership between BT, Cisco & One World South Asia has won the Big Tick Award for 2008, which is UK’s most prominent CSR award conferred to companies integrating responsible business practices for positively impacting society.

tech awards laureate badge

In the same year, LifeLines also joined ranks with 25 global innovators who were honored as a Tech Awards Laureate by the prestigious Tech Museum of Innovation for employing technology solutions to benefit humanity.

ASAP logo

Most recently, the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) presented their 2009 Award for Social Responsibility to the LifeLines alliance between One World, BT, and Cisco in February 2009.


more info

Posted by arun at 09 March 2009
this is a good initiative
where can we get more info about it
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