Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have accelerated economic growth and propelled a wave of engagements that have touched human lives, changing the way communities interact, increasing opportunities for livelihood and crossing the barriers of inequitable growth. ICTs have taken up such pre-eminence in our everyday lives, that we now have access to a bank of knowledge & services at our fingertips. As a result, people in tune with ICTs are no longer isolated and are part of the fast changing global platform. However, there are still millions who are yet to gain access to the ICT platforms for knowledge and opportunities, especially the women.
Internet Saathi, a joint initiative of Google and Tata Trust, is committed to increase interest and usage of the Internet among women in rural areas. The purpose of Internet Saathi is to reach as many rural women as possible in select Indian states with Internet literacy. DEF, the implementation partner of the project in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, is dedicated to train rural women for using the Internet. These trained women will then train others like them, creating a ripple effect of basic digital literacy. Through its existing CIRCs and local partners, DEF has reached out to 20,51,456 beneficiaries (women and girls) through 2,937 Internet Saathis in 10,662 villages.
In its latest phase, Internet Saathi aims at providing digitally-enabled employment opportunities to the Saathis across Bihar and Madhya Pradesh by training them to carry out tablet-based surveys for third party research and organizational groups.