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Google backs school safety campaign

September 10, 2008 15:57 IST

Google India, in association with the Internet and Mobile Association of India and the Kolkata Police, held an awareness campaign in Kolkata on September 9 to educate students on internet safety. It was held at the Ballygunge Government High School.

This is part of Google India's broader 'Be NetSmart' initiative across schools in India.

Launched in February this year, the campaign has covered around 30,000 students in Mumbai and Chennai so far, said Rishi S Jaitly, policy analyst, Google India. In Kolkata, the campaign has so far covered 5,000 students across many schools. Next week, Google India will introduce the Delhi leg of the campaign.

"We have requested Google to especially focus on Bengali-medium schools which have greater need for exposure to such awareness campaigns on issues pertaining to Internet security and safe surfing," said Debashis Roy, additional joint commissioner, Kolkata Police, at the event.

Google India is in talks with police organisations in cities across India to forge partnerships for jointly educating students, teachers and parents in the local communities.

According to Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, "Be NetSmart is a campaign to promote the concept of safe surfing among young school students. Google has taken the lead in initiating this innovate outreach programme, reaching out to Delhi in the next leg. After the first leg, IAMAI will take up the programme on a sustainable basis on behalf of the industry and as well as make it a regular outreach campaign in the metros. IAMAI will also take it to the smaller towns."

Be NetSmart is an interactive campaign focussed on students in class VI and above. The sessions in schools cover topics on maintaining confidentiality, not interacting with strangers online, as well as information on downloading content, posting pictures, online chatting, etc. 

In addition to students, parents and teachers are also being educated on Internet awareness and the need to be involved with children.