The initiative taken by Google to bring digital literacy in India through Internet Saathi program launched in July 2015 found its most glorified story in Laxmi Rani of Patahensal village, Purulia district of West Bengal.
A joint venture of Google and Tata Trust the initiative seeks to digitally enlighten a few by a two-day course and then presents to them two mobile devices and a bicycle to further digital knowledge in their nearby villages.
The program currently has 18,000 Internet Saathi’s enrolled to this practice.
Internet- the new friend in distress:
For the women, the use of internet mainly still depends on the pursuance of their livelihood. To find stitch designs for the sarees they make. The kids take to the internet more quickly. Laxmi’s niece Anju Sahu, a class topper and an avid internet user prove the importance of internet when used for seeking information.
The glory story:
Though this infusion of the web in building their livelihood is a high mark for the purpose of Digital Literacy what makes ‘Internet Didi’ aka Laxmi Rani unique is the amount of social enlightenment that the internet has brought for her. Not only did she forward Digital Literacy to 1100 people in her village but also used internet knowledge to stop a child marriage from taking place by threatening a WhatsApp report of it.
Faulty voice search service, slow connectivity, flawed interfaces and limited devices still play a spoilsport in the spread of digital literacy.