Indian government's decision to implement a scheme to give a mobile phone with free talk time to every poor family living below poverty line drew a lot of flak and with a country already having a high density telecom penetration, there is a need to use this technology for better purpose rather than just spending money over such schemes.
mPowering is an American non profit organisation who has partnered with a charity organization by the name Citta in Orissa, they chose a village Juanga in Odisha which has a population of around 3,000 people, most of them farmers earning less than $2 per day, with no access to basic facilities like healthcare, drinking water, electricity, food and infrastructure.
56 families were handed a smartphone with apps made in local language which they use to collect points for their kids attending school, mother's attending preventive healthcare classes and in turn they redeem these points collected for food, clothes and medicine. This concept of rewards and incentives has reaped good results for the programme.
71% children attended school compared to 52% last year, mPowering has being founded by ex-Apple boss Jeff Martin, you can read more about this article here from cnn.com and take a look at some videos that explain the impact of this program.