In rural India, the lack of digital access has led to a high level of digital illiteracy. Google led digital initiative Internet Saathi has expanded its wings after the tech giant has partnered with Tata Trust. The partnership was dubbed Internet Saathi 2.0 during a recent event held in New Delhi, India. The aim is to support females in rural India and to help them find a source of income by using internet to its fullest.
Internet Saathi along with the Foundation of Rural Entrepreneurship Development (FREND) which is a Tata Trust initiative wants to provide a medium for women to find a source of employment via internet. Presently, there are around 12,000 internet saathis who are part of the recently announced initiative, Since its inception in 2015, the Google-led initiative has spread to 300,000 villages all over India. The program focuses on making women in rural India digitally literate.
From digital literacy to digital livelihoods. Today, we’re announcing the expansion of the Internet Saathi program.
Introducing FREND. #NotATypo #GoogleForIndia #InternetSaathi pic.twitter.com/ccHTNy4P9G
— Google India (@GoogleIndia) December 5, 2017
During the recent event, Marketing head, SEA & India, Sapna Chadha said that no matter the socio-economic challenges, a lot of women have incredibly benefited from the program. “It was this winning spirit that inspired us to create a new sustainable framework with Tata Trusts, that aims to deliver employment opportunities to Internet Saathi,” added Chadha.
Tata Trust’s Head of Strategy Raman Kalyankishan said that the trust has for many years focused on livelihood generation. Considering the success of the initiative has encouraged Tata Trusts to join hands with Internet Saathi to provide livelihood opportunities to women to help them become self-reliant. He also added that the trust is happy to join hands with Google and anticipate a long and healthy partnership ahead.
Internet Saathi has now spread to 12 states. It is believed to have helped over 112 million women in rural India. Today, there are 30,000 internet saathis working in 110,000 villages helping rural women learn using smartphones and tablets.