Google India and Tata trust launch Internet Saathi

Google India and Tata trust launch Internet Saathi initiative in India. A joint digital literacy program to reduce . They will provide Internet access to Women in the rural area, India.

Under the initiative, companies are providing a bicycle, mobile, tablet, training materials to women. These women will get training from companies to become Internet Saathi. These Internet Saathis will reach out to villages helping them with web-based information. They can provide training to other women in the village to make them e-literate.

Google India and Tata trust launch Internet Saathi initiative
(From left) Ganesh Neelam, head – innovation, Tata Trust and Sapna Chadha, head of marketing, Google India,at the launch of ‘Internet Saathi’ initiative in Kolkata (Pic: Subrata Majumder)

“The program is not only aiding women access information and services but is also empowering them socially and economically,” Ganesh Neelam, head of innovation at Tata Trust said.

Google India is paying them INR 1,000 a month for a period of six months.

“These women can also charge something from the villagers to whom she is providing the required information. They become the agents of change in rural India,” Sapna Chadha, head of marketing at Google India said here.

“In the next few months, we will see the project roll out across 400 villages and reach one lakh women in Purulia,” said Sapna.

They have already rolled out the program in nine states. Around 500 women are now participating in this program.

Under this rural connect initiative, Google is providing the requisite material in language. Google is also engaging with other companies to develop content in local language.

As per Google officials, while this drive will help rural India adopt to the world of information and technology, the company will benefit if internet usage increases.

“There is a lot of potential in the rural areas. If internet usage increases, it will help us widen our advertisement revenue”, an official in the company said.

The Internet Saathi initiative is a part of Google’s Helping Women Get Online campaign. It aimed to generate awareness about the benefits of internet usage among women in rural India.