Sunday, 5 July 2015

Cycles Bearing Internet Cart to Roll in Indian Villages


The cycles with attached Internet cart is going to visit in different Indian villages to train the rustic women on the Internet medium. This is part of Make India Digital initiative, which is one of the pet projects of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to make Indian business completely digital. This novel idea is designed by Tata Trusts in partnership with Google India Private Limited. The initiative aimed at empowering rural Indian women with the power of the Internet is christened as ‘Internet Saathi’. The partners to this project have officially rolled out it on July 3, 2015. At the launch, the Chairman of Tata Trusts Ratan Tata told a small gathering that the access to the Internet has changed the way people are acquiring knowledge in the world. The same was acknowledged by the Google South Asia and India Managing Director and Vice-President Rajan Anandan who spoke about the skewed scenario of internet access with men outnumbering women in both rural and urban India.

internet saathi

Internet Saathi Project

The joint initiative of Tata Trusts, the philanthropic organization of Tata Sons Group, and the Indian arm of Google Pvt. Ltd. has decided to help the rural woman folks to reap the benefits of the Internet and empower them for a better tomorrow. The proponents of the “Internet Saathi” project have chosen to call the vehicle of change as Internet Cycle. According to the partners, this project is designed to provide basic training on the usage and benefits of the Internet. For this purpose, the novel initiative is going to send specially designed Internet cycle carts to their homes directly.  This project was ideated on the sidelines of the Indian Prime Minister’s call for making India completely digital. In this project, Tata Trusts and Google India have roped in known computer and laptop processor chip maker Intel to provide the content for the content for the Internet training. Intel is already helping Google India in rolling out the Helping Women Get Online (HWGO) initiative. Tata Trusts is going to make use of its rural support network to build the case and carry forward the novel scheme in different parts of the country.

internet cycle

Modus Operandi

The Internet carts in the form of cycles would be sent to villages for a minimum period of two days every week over a period of 4-to-6 months. During this time, the Internet carts will be visiting a cluster of 3 villages every week to provide comprehensive basic training on the benefits and usages of the Internet.  Once the carts complete the Internet training in one cluster of villages, it would move to another adjacent cluster to start the training cycle in fresh location. This initiative is set to pick up from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat.  Then, the Internet carts are set to fan out to the adjacent states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand in the first phase. In the later phase, it is set to cover a total of 4500 villages to impart basic training to over 5,00,000 Indian women living in rural India.

village cluster
Thuruvananthapuram Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India