Shillong: Virthli one of the fastest growing and most popular news network in the Hmar Community and also amongst the top contibutors of news on the Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribes won the prestigious e-North East Award 2016 in the e-News & Media, Social Media for Empowerment category at a glittering function held at North Eastern Council, Shillong on February 26.


The e-north East Award Summit is a first-of-its-kind flagship event of the North East Development Foundation (NEDF), a unit of Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), New Delhi. North East Development Foundation (NEDF) created the e-North East Award platform in 2010 as an effort to mainstream the North East region by bringing its progressive digital initiatives to national and international focus. This year's edition was themed ‘Digital North East for Digital India’ and saw 60 finalists including techpreneurs, various government departments, start-ups, NGOs and innovating individuals. Out of the 60 finalists, 10 were declared winners in various categories.

According to the organisers, Virthli news network is the most popular and one of the oldest platforms for the Chin-Kuki-Mizo tribes. True to its theme "Ushering Change" which brought the Hmar people around the globe together and created a great platform for various budding and hidden talents. Virthli has made a great change in terms of communication for the scattered Hmar community by making use of the global modern technology.

According to Mr. Simon L Infimate, Virthli founder and content manager, Virthli was started in  2006 as an SMS Group on the Gupshup platform, delivering SMS alerts on Jobs, news and other information.  With the  rise in popularity of social networking sites and free blogging platforms, Virthli saw a new medium and ceased the oppurtunity to start curating content for its followers through its Facebook group and page. Virthli now has  three mediums- a website www.virthli.in, Facebook Group/ page,  and an Android App.

From a humble beginning on a Nokia 3110 classic phone in 2006, Virthli network has now amassed over 3000 followers on Facebook page, over 41,000 members on Facebook group, over 2000 installs on its Android App and over 50,000 monthly pageviews on its website. It is now being managed by 19 team members from varied fields and interests with regular contributions from of a huge bank of columnists, contributors, friends, well wishers, academics, student leaders and students, researchers etc.

"We are really glad to receive this prestigious award. It means that our hard work has really paid off. It is a huge push, an encouragement for us to keep growing and be the ushers of change in our society. We dedicate this award to our columnists, regular contributors and also especially to our esteemed readers and followers", Mr. Simon added.

The recipient of other awards in different category are;
1. E-Governance & Citizen Services Delivery: Nagaland Police SMS Based Vehicle Monitoring System, Nagaland Police
2. E-Health: ICT Solutions including real tume monitoring using mobile phones to address health systems gaps in Assam, India, UNICEF
3. E-Learning & Education: Design & Delivery of e-Education in Health & Medical Sciences to the Medical Colleges of North East Region [Implemented by Centre for Development of Advanced
Computing (CDAC Noida) & All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS New Delhi)
4. E-Culture & Heritage: Xondhan.com, Xondhan, Assam
5. E-Livelihood & Enterprise: iLEAD, Assam
6. E-Commerce & Business: e-ASNES, Assam
7. E-Environment & Tourism: Design and Development of Bioresources Database for Indian region of Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Manipur
8. E-Inclusion: Brahmaputra Community Radio Station,90.4 FM,Assam
9. Mobiles for Social Services Delivery: Online Approvals and Sanctions Information System (OASIS) Mobile Version, NIC, Meghalaya.

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