Internet Saathi is an initiative by Google for women empowerment, and now, it has hit the target of covering 100,000 villages under this program.
Though the internet user base in India is progressing quickly, there still prevails a huge dominance of males using it on daily basis. And such disparity is found more in rural areas. To reduce this gap, and make rural women digitally literate, Google had initiated its Internet Saathi program in July 2015 in Rajasthan. Within 6 months, it accessed around 30,000 villages. And today, it has achieved its benchmark of making women digitally sound in 100,000 villages in India. Not only in India, the tech giant had also planned to turn San Jose into a Hi-tech Google City.
Google collaborated with Tata Trusts for making its digital program reach larger masses. As a result, it has spread its word in ten Indian states. More than 25,000 Internet Saathis help around 10 million women in using the internet in their daily lives. Last year, Google offered free Wi-Fi services to 5 railways stations in India for quicker access to the internet.
For understanding how much fruitful the program was for women, Google shook hands with a market research organization named IPSOS. As per the findings, around 90% of the women who became a part of Internet Saathi understood about operating internet successfully. Also, approximately one-fourth of the women use internet on a constant basis.
Gujarat, with 35% of women continuing to use the internet even today, had the most powerful impact of this program, while Rajasthan ranked the lowest with only 17%. The report further informs that most of the ladies cannot bear purchasing the smartphone for using the internet.
33% women feel that Internet Saathi has economically contributed to women’s growth. Further, there was a significant increase of 1% in village incomes as a result of this impactful training. And the ladies who use the internet even today inform that their income has increased by 4%. Now, Internet Saathi’s next target cities are Bihar and Haryana.