Nestled in the picturesque Vindhyachal valley and situated in the Ashok Nagar district of Madhya Pradesh, the town of Chanderi is famous world over for its magnificent weaves. The town also hosts the occasional sightseer since it is interspersed with more than hundred monuments, both religious and secular, which stand in testimony for its glorious and eventful past. Chanderi can best be described as a rural town with an urban consciousness. Weaving is the source of livelihood for more than 60% of its population, while the rest are engaged in agriculture, biri making, stone quarring and tertiary occupations.
Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) in collaboration with Media Labs Asia has conceptualised the Chanderi Weavers ICT Resource Centre (CWICTRC) (which also provides all facilities of a CIRC) in order to provide technical education to the textile weavers of Chanderi. It endeavours to provide alternative options of livelihood through ICT based empowerment. This initiative, collectively called ‘Chanderiyaan’ aims at fostering community based development and empowerment through the Chanderi Integrated ICT for Development Program (CIIDP).
The Chanderi Integrated ICT for Development Program (CIIDP) endeavours to enable multi-pronged integrated digital development of Chanderi by creating a digital ecosystem of the town. The program is all embracing, incorporating Social entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Education and Tourism and integrating it with the socio – economic and historical fabric of Chanderi.
The Chanderiyaan programmes also has an e-commerce portal which provides an opportunity for weavers to explore the online market and sell their creations to the urban communities through . The portal serves the Chanderi weavers by promoting their product in an international market and also provides them with financial benefits out of the process.