Google said its Internet Saathi program, a digital literacy initiative aimed at empowering women in rural India, has reached 100,000 villages in the country.
Google, which launched as a pilot in Rajasthan in July 2015 along with Tata Trusts, announced plans to scale the Internet program to cover 300,000 villages across India in December the same year.
“From being afraid to touch a smartphone, worried that they will spoil it, to now demanding services that can help them get more from the Internet — women in rural India have come a long way,” said Sapna Chadha, director marketing, South East Asia and India at Google.
In its two-year journey, the initiative has continued to gain momentum and is today live in 10 states in India.
Nearly 25,000 fully-trained Internet Saathis are working everyday in these villages to help women and children learn about the internet.
In total, over 10 million women have gained from the program so far and have become familiar with the benefits of using the Internet in their daily lives.
Further, on the second-year anniversary of the program, Google also announced the expansion of the programme in two new states — Haryana and Bihar.
Google said the initiative has already started to roll out and will be covering nearly 1,000 villages in Haryana. Google kicked off the program in Bihar from Ramnagar, Bagaha, Lauria, Manjha and Chakai villages and we will be covering nearly 7,000 villages expanding it further later in the year.