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How women help Google to spread Internet use in villages

By Avishek Rakshit
June 09, 2016 09:07 IST
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Harish, 11, a school boy uses a laptop provided under the "One Laptop Per Child' project by a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

The Internet Saathi initiative is a part of Google's Helping Women Get Online campaign.

Google is engaging rural women to provide Internet services in villages.

The company, in association with Tata Trusts, provides a bicycle, mobile phones and tablets  and training materials to women to become master trainers.

These Internet Saathis reach out to villagers, helping them with web-based information apart from providing training to other women.

“The programme is not only helping women to access information and services but is also empowering them socially and economically,” said Ganesh Neelam, head of innovation at Tata Trusts.

Google will pay Internet Saathis Rs 1,000 a month for six months.

“These women can charge something from the villagers for providing information,” said Sapna Chadha, head of marketing at Google India.

The scheme is working in nine states and around 500 women are being roped into it every week.

Google provides the training material in local languages and is engaging other companies to develop content.

“There is a lot of potential in rural areas.

If Internet use increases it will help us widen our revenue,” a Google India executive said.

The Internet Saathi initiative is a part of Google's Helping Women Get Online campaign.

Image: Harish, 11, a school boy uses a laptop provided under the 'One Laptop Per Child' project by a non-governmental organisation. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters.

The image is used for representational purpose only

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Avishek Rakshit in Kolkata
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