Pratiksha Kamble, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Pratiksha was born and brought up in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Since childhood, she loved studying and educating herself on different subjects. To go for higher studies after Class XII, she pursued Biotechnology for graduation and then went on to complete her Master’s with a course in Marine Biotechnology from Goa University. She has always been open to learning new things to upskill herself at every stage of her life. Additionally, she is an enthusiastic traveller and explorer. She loves exploring off-beat places. Moreover, her interest areas include reading books, meeting new people, and trying new technologies for the best use.

She started a website, NotesPlayer, to provide students with study resources free of cost. Her vision is to create a resource pool of dynamic study material with this website. She herself faced this problem of not finding accurate and specific study material to prepare for the exams and now she is working towards it to solve the problem. She is looking for an opportunity to work at the grassroots level through the Digital Swaraj Fellowship and to impact those who are partially or completely away from digital advancements.

Punti Kumari, Tandwa Village, Bihar

Punti belongs to the Tadwan village in the Patna district of Bihar. She was keen on pursuing education since childhood, but her schooling started late due to the poor financial condition of her family. Along with her education, she has worked with many social organisations, which helped develop her understanding of the issues prevailing in society. She had to go out of her village to work for these organisations. The people in her village started taunting her for this, and her family also started putting pressure on her to marry. Her family even tried keeping her captive in the house.

This was the time when Punti started raising her voice for her rights in front of the family as well as her village. With the help of her elder brother and the social organisations she has been part of, she faced all those challenges. Since then, she started making decisions in her life by overcoming the pressures from society as well as family. With her dedication and hard work, she completed her graduation and made a mark for herself. She works as a social activist and is rooted on the ground. Through the Digital Swaraj Fellowship, she wants to enhance her knowledge of digital interventions, so that she can take this work to more people at the grassroots level.

Maitri Singh, Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh

Maitri Singh, hailing from Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and raised in Delhi, is a post-graduate in English Literature from Ambedkar University, Delhi. As one of the founding members of the non-profit organisation ‘Association for Parivartan of Nation,’ she combines her literary insights with a minor in Political Science to delve into the realms of politics, history, and social work through research. Driven by a profound desire to create a lasting impact, Maitri aspires to utilise the power of technology and digital platforms as catalysts for social transformation. Her active participation in the Digital Swaraj Fellowship serves as a crucial milestone, propelling her closer to her long-term vision of becoming a policymaker.

Vikas Chinchkar, Beed, Maharashtra

Vikas is a development sector professional. He hails from the Beed district of Maharashtra. Since his early days, he has been exposed to grassroots-level issues. Recently, he completed his Master’s degree in Urban and Rural Community Development from the renowned CSRD-ISWR institute in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. During his academic years, Vikas volunteered in the Sanjaynagar slum area and Grampanchayat Kapurwadi in Ahmednagar District. This gave him the opportunity to interact with farmers, and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of women and children in the village. He worked on various areas such as education, gender differences, and health. Vikas is particularly passionate about education, digital literacy, environmental sustainability, and social work interventions.

He also volunteered with the Kanyaka Foundation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, he recently completed an internship at Shantiwan, an orphanage and rehabilitation centre in Arvi. Vikas has always been open to learning new things and upskilling himself at every stage of his life. He is adaptable to different environments and is eager to join the Digital Swaraj Fellowship. Through the Digital Swaraj Fellowship, he aims to apply his academic learning skills to experience grassroots realities in the digital world. This experience will help him achieve his long-term vision of working at the policy level.

Mili Dangwal, Srinagar, Uttarakhand

Mili was born and brought up in Srinagar, Uttarakhand. She completed her graduation in Political science honours from Delhi University. Having a keen interest in the social sector she has been part of many projects related to education, women welfare, etc. She intends to explore innovative ways to contribute to the Digital Swaraj Fellowship and various issues in general. She is looking forward to working with a talented team and other fellows, to engage, learn new things and absorb the nature and process of change via digital empowerment. She aspires to grow and move ahead in administrative services which share the same sphere of executing innovative ways for the welfare of the people.

Shrishti Sinha, Ranchi, Jharkhand

Shrishti graduated with a combined Humanities degree from Azim Premji University. She holds a combined Humanities degree from Azim Premji University, where she developed a passion for exploring the intersection between digital technology and socio-economic inequalities. Through the Digital Swaraj Fellowship, she aims to delve into the policy sphere and identify necessary interventions that can harness the potential of the digital realm to empower all individuals, rather than benefiting only a select few.

Digital literacy serves as Shrishti’s primary area of interest. She recognizes its importance on two distinct levels. Firstly, she seeks to address the lack of understanding among the general population regarding the broader implications of the digital age, such as the nature of data and how it is collected. Secondly, she focuses on those who lack access to digital resources altogether, aiming to bridge the gap by providing them with the necessary skills to utilise and navigate the digital landscape effectively.