Google announces to take its Internet Saathi CSR Initiative to 3 Lakh villages- CSRBOX

Google announces to take its Internet Saathi CSR Initiative to 3 Lakh villages

By DNA On 04 August 2017

Internet giant Google today said it will expand its 'Internet Saathi' programme -- which works with women in rural India to make them digitally literate -- to three lakh villages in the country.

Google had launched the programme in July 2015 in partnership with Tata Trusts as a pilot in Rajasthan.

"In two years, the programme has reached one lakh villages and is already live in 10 states. About 25,000 fully trained Internet Saathis are working everyday across these villages to help women and children learn about the Internet," Google South East Asia and India Director Marketing Sapna Chadha said.

These states include Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Google aims to scale the programme to cover three lakh villages across India, the company said in a statement.

In total, over 10 million women have gained from the programme so far and have become familiar with the benefits of using the Internet in their daily lives, it added.

Google is expanding the programme to two new states -- Haryana and Bihar. In Haryana, about 1,000 villages will be covered, while in Bihar, over 7,000 villages will be covered.

Chadha pointed out that India's Internet usage is still dominated by male users.

"The digital gender divide is even wider in rural India where digital literacy amongst women continues to be a challenge, this combined with socio-economic challenges are the major barriers that prevent women from using the Internet," she added.

Google, as part of a research found that for these women, the primary use case for Internet was to learn new skills and find information.

Also, cost of the smartphone is the biggest barrier for usage after training as over half of the women trained cannot afford to buy the phone.

About seven per cent of the women traind under the programme said they felt that their social standing has improved at individual, household and community level as they feel better informed and more confident about themselves.

Tag : CSR education digital Impact

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