Four winners — Digital Green Trust, Agastya, the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, and Social Awareness-Newer Alternatives — will receive 30 million rupees ($488,321) each to scale technology solutions in support of their on-the-ground efforts. Inspired by the passion and creativity of the finalists, Google also decided to award 15 million rupees ($243,588) to six other organizations.
Digital Green Trust, which uses video to provide agricultural skills training, will use the funds to scale a video hub and online knowledge platform with the aim of helping a million farmers in ten thousand villages boost their productivity and lower their costs. To address the lack of science equipment and digital resources at more than sixteen hundred rural schools, Agastya will launch a new network of motorbike science labs and will train local teachers on how to incorporate hands-on science into their classrooms. Janaagraha will use its award to create online and mobile apps that connect a million and half "voiceless" Indians to government representatives. And SANA, which was selected by popular online vote as the "fan favorite," will use its funds to deploy solar-powered water purification technology and bio-digesting toilets in rural villages.
The jury for the competition — which follows one held in the United Kingdom earlier this year — included Thermax chair Anu Aga; Google senior vice president Nikesh Arora; Google founding board member Ram Shriram; Google Giving director Jacqueline Fuller; and Jayant Sinha, managing director of Omidyar Network India Advisors. "The [winning] organizations were short-listed after due diligence by us," said Fuller, "as well as speaking to their funders, peer groups, and beneficiaries."
To view videos about the winning projects, visit the Google Impact Challenge Web site.