In efforts to increase digital penetration across India, it seems that organizations across the non-profit, private, and public sector are starting new initiatives to bring the benefits of the internet to the country’s villages. Google for example has used internet buses to go to different villages to host movie nights, which led to approximately 1.5 million viewing the internet for the first time. Along those lines, Yahoo India is set to increase internet awareness and expand computer literacy by establishing computer labs in schools in Tier II and Tier III towns in India.
By Manan Kakkar | September 13, 2011, 2:04am PDT
Summary: Google India’s benevolent initiative of driving an Internet connected bus into deep villages of India has helped many Indians see what the Internet is for the first time. Yahoo India is also working with schools to setup labs that will help students learn about Internet technologies.
In a country like India, a corporation’s social actions can go a long way for the citizens. While the growth numbers in India are something to be proud about, there is what is known as the other India that still hasn’t been exposed to resources, amenities and infrastructure that metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and even Ahmedabad have.
Not long ago, well-known Google executive Marissa Mayer was in India and she shared an image of Google’s Internet bus, on Twitter. The bus travels villages taking Internet to the people. It reminded me of the touring cinema truck that goes village to village hosting movie nights for the villagers; depicted beautifully in Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie—Swades—villagers would gather in a compound for something similar to an open-air theater experience.
Google’s Internet bus helped 1.5 Million Indians experience the Internet for the first time. Embroiled in petty battles, the politicians can be blamed for the lack of infrastructure but for what it’s worth, the Government of India has definite plans to improve connectivity across the nation. Numbers shared by Google India say the bus has clocked 43,000 kms, travelled to 120 towns in India and touched 5.6 million people, of which, 1.5 Million tried the Internet for the very first time. Even if the number was exaggerated by a Million, I say kudos Google, you’ve won me. Currently in Bihar, the bus has covered Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and more.
Despite the tough times Yahoo as a corporation is going through, Yahoo India plans to embark on a mission to help educate children in Tier II and III towns in India. The company hopes to spread Internet awareness and improve computer literacy in the country by setting up labs in schools that will facilitate learning.