Press Release – Google and Tata Trusts expand Internet Saathi program to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for women in rural India.
Google and Tata Trusts expand Internet Saathi program to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for women in rural India
Chennai, December 2017: Building on its mission to improve digital literacy amongst women in rural India, Google India and Tata Trusts today announced the extension of the Internet Saathi program, to support the Foundation For Rural Entrepreneurship Development (FREND) set up by Tata Trusts .
Under this initiative, Google will jointly work with the new foundation, to create digitally enabled livelihood opportunities for the Internet Saathis. FREND, will become a vehicle for other like minded companies and institutions to utilise the Internet Saathi network and enable dissemination of information and services in the rural areas thereby creating newer avenues of income for these women in rural India. This will be in addition to imparting digital literacy to millions of rural women under the ongoing Internet Saathi program.
Speaking at the launch of this new initiative, Sapna Chadha, Marketing Head, SEA & India, Google said,“In spite of the socio-economic challenges, thousands of Internet Saathis have gone on to do amazing things, once they learnt the Internet. 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 Saathis.”
Raman Kalyanakrishnan, Head – Strategy, Tata Trusts, said, “For several years now, livelihood generation has been a core area for the Trusts. Given the progressive penetration of Internet Saathi program, it was only natural for us to bring income generating opportunities to these women so that they become self-dependant and further encourage women in their communities to emulate them. We are happy that several organizations have already tested the strength of this platform. We are confident that with Google we are establishing a very large entrepreneurship movement in rural India.”
Over 12,000 Internet Saathis across India have voluntarily signed up to take up projects in their villages as part of this next phase of Internet Saathi program. Along with Tata Trusts we have already conducted successful pilots with organisations such as Tata Water Mission, Haqdarshak, Kantar and Nielsen with encouraging outcomes.
Since its launch in 2015, Google and Tata Trusts remain committed to expand the Internet Saathi program to cover 300,000 villages across India and enable women across villages to benefit from the Internet. Working closely with on ground network of partners, the program has been successfully rolled out to 12 states benefitting over 12 million women across rural India. Armed with smartphones and tablets, over 30,000 Internet Saathis are working across 110,000 villages helping women in their own and in neighbouring villages to learn how to use and gain from the full potential of the Internet.
Internet Saathi 2.O (Video Link) –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5XqtgfV0kI&feature=youtu.be
Notes to the editor:
As per the latest report released by Kantar IMRB – ICube – Rural Internet Report for 2017: There are 134 million active Internet users in rural India. Rural Internet user population continues to be dominated by male users. The female to male ratio of Internet users in rural India has gone up in the last two years – from 1 in 10 in 2015 to 3 in 10 in 2017. Lack of awareness about the benefits of Internet and devices for access continues to be the key barrier for not using the Internet in rural India.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
About Tata Trusts
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, Tata Trusts is amongst India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy; the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation. For more information, please visithttp://tatatrusts.org/