Google Incorporation, along with Tata Trusts launched ‘Internet Saathi’ program in West Bengal on Wednesday to create awareness about the benefits of Internet among women in rural India
Google's 'Helping Women Get Online' campaign was launched in July 2015. The ‘Internet Saathi’ is a part of the initiative.
The ‘Helping Women Get Online’ campaign came out to be a great success in villages of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh where it benefitted over 2 lakh women.
The initiative will roll out from West Bengal's Purulia district and will focus on training women and larger communities in the state to learn and explore various uses and benefits of the Internet.
In West Bengal, the initiative will initially be rolled out to cover over 400 villages in Purulia district with an objective to reach 1 lakh women, the companies said in a joint statement.
The master trainers of the program are called "saathis" who train more women in their own and neighbouring villages.
This was Tata’s role, talking about Google will provide the mobile and tablet devices, the training material and also trains the master trainers.
Internet-enabled devices like tablets and smartphones will be made available within the school premises, community centres, self-help group meeting places, agriculture centres, PHCs, etc. for optimum exposure and learning amongst the community.
According to Google, with only 1 out of 10 women able to access the internet in rural India, Internet Saathi initiative is aimed at creating an environment that empowers rural women and their communities to become change agents in rural India.
While, according to Tata, we are entering in West Bengal through our focused field level strength and with learnings and experiences of working with rural communities in West Bengal and other states we've been present in.