Back in 2015, Google launched the Internet Saathi program jointly with TATA Trusts. This program is solely focused on educating woman about the use of the Internet. This a unique digital literacy program aimed at empowering women in rural India. Google India and TATA trusts recently announced that they have touched a milestone of 2.6 lakh villages across the country. However, before exploring the numbers, we must know about Google Internet Saathi.
What is Google Internet Saathi?
According to Google, in 2015, only 1 out of every 10 Internet user in rural India was a woman. Therefore, Tata Trusts and Google came together to address this huge gender gap and introduced a digital literacy program. This literacy program is based on ‘train the trainer’ model. Hence, women from villages are trained on using the Internet and are made equipped with data-enabled devices. After completing their training, these women become Internet Saathis and work as trainers. As a result, they help other women in their village to get started on their Internet journey and benefit from it.
The Journey of Internet Saathi
Google India’s Internet Saathi program will now include two more states- Punjab and Odisha and by this, it will be reaching 2.6 lakh villages in 20 states. In Punjab, this program will cover around 5,000 villages. This includes – Paras Rampur, Kotli Than Singh, Burj, Vehra and from Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala districts. Furthermore, In Odisha, it will cover over 16,000 villages including Sindhia in Baleshwar, Parakana in Puri, Bhuinpur in Kendrapara.
So far the Internet Saathi program reached 2.6 lakh villages across 18 states trained 70,000 Internet Saathis and impacted 2.6 crore women in the country.
Notably, it started as a pilot project in Rajasthan and has been expanded to states including Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana.
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