Google's digital literacy program reaches 1 lakh villages in India

CIOL Writers
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Google’s 'Internet Saathi' program- a digital literacy initiative aimed at empowering women in rural India- has now reached 100,000 villages in the country, Google India announced on Wednesday.


“From being afraid to touch a smartphone, worried that they will spoil it, to now demanding services that can help them get more from the Internet — women in rural India have come a long way. Even as India has taken the lead to become the fastest growing Internet user market in the world, India’s Internet 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,” Sapna Chadha, Director Marketing, South East Asia and India at Google, said in a statement.

Launched as a pilot in Rajasthan in July 2015 along with Tata Trusts, the initiative is today live in 10 states in India. The company is also planning to expand the program to two new states - Haryana and Bihar.

Under the program, 25,000 fully trained Internet Saathis are working every day across these states to help women and children learn about the Internet. In total, over 10 million women have gained from the program, said Google.

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