Bringing the Internet alive for every Indian

As the world heads towards a hyper-connected future, more than half of India’s 1.3 billion citizens still lack access to the Internet. By providing fast, free Wi-Fi hotspots at hundreds of train stations, and fostering digital literacy in thousands of rural communities, Google’s initiatives now help millions to get online each month, many of them for the first time.

Connecting millions of travellers to high speed Wi-Fi

Since 2015, we’ve partnered with Indian Railways and RailTel in one of the world’s largest public Wi-Fi projects, connecting millions of travellers to high-speed internet in railway stations across the country.

Number of monthly users accessing the Internet at railway stations

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1 Station

10 Stations

115 Stations

400+ Stations

Jan 2016
Apr 2016
Apr 2017
Feb 2018

Next Stop: Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations in 2018

We’ve connected 400+ railway stations so far, bringing fast, free Wi-Fi to millions of people who pass through these railway stations everyday. We aim to continue expanding the network to 400 of the busiest railway stations in 2018, creating one of the largest public Wi-Fi networks in the world by number of potential users.

This initiative allows travellers to stream HD videos, research their destination, or download a book while discovering all the other things the internet can do for them. Best of all, the service will be free to start with, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and more places.

Ritik, Jammu

“I come to this railway station regularly to use Wi-Fi after school. I watch Taekwondo videos on YouTube to learn the martial art myself. Recently, I got selected to be in a national-level championship for Taekwondo. Also, I download all the study related videos to watch at home.”

Ritik, Jammu

Station by station

Over three hundred stations are already live with a seamless, stable, high-speed Wi-Fi network.

Explore the map to see where.

Enabling women in 300,000 villages with the power of the Internet

According to the 2015 IMRB I-CUBE Report, only 1 in 10 internet users in rural India is a woman. Google is helping to bridge this gender gap by enabling women in villages to use the internet for their own needs and the benefit of their communities.

The Internet Saathi Initiative

In partnership with Tata Trusts, we launched Internet Saathi in 2015 to equip women in villages across India with basic digital literacy skills. These "Saathis" then go on to train their neighbours and women in nearby villages to access and use the internet to find information, learn new skills, and explore new opportunities that can help them make a greater socio-economic impact in their communities. This training starts a cycle of education, positively impacting the young and rural population throughout India.

Number of women trained by the Internet Saathis

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Dec 2015
Apr 2016
Apr 2017
Aug 2018

Meet the Saathis

Asiya’s story

Asiya’s story

Kolhapur, Maharashtra

Thirty one years old and a college graduate, Asiya lives with her husband and two kids, and is also a committed Internet Saathi who has trained close to 900 women to date. While managing a grocery store with her husband, she uses the Internet daily for news and articles about health and nutrition. She’s also become an e-commerce enthusiast, and often buys household items and clothes using Paytm, Amazon and Snapdeal. By using the online shopping feature to upgrade her grocery store and introduce more variety, Asiya has cut down on ordering costs and increased the footfall to her store.

Asiya has also mobilised women from the village in a unique local market concept where they can contribute their handmade wares, including art, food items and beauty products. With the help of the Internet, these women find recipes and videos that inspire constant improvement and innovation in their small businesses.

Neelam’s story

Banswara, Rajasthan

A BA third-year student, Neelam was working as an Internet Saathi when she realised she had a flair for teaching.

Training women on how to use a smartphone and look for information on the Internet, she was working in three different villages. Then, she decided to volunteer as an assistant trainer. Eventually, Neelam was selected from amongst 50 of her colleagues to become a master trainer for Internet Saathis in her state. The opportunity brought her a much larger income, and gave her a platform for her knowledge and communication skills.

A true believer in the potential of the Internet to benefit the lives of everyone around her, Neelam was eventually promoted to be a coordinator for the Digital Livelihood Program. Now, her work helps Internet Saathis across the entire region.

Neelam’s story

Village by village

Today, over 36,000 Saathis have helped train more than 20 million women across 200,000 villages in 13 states.

Browse the map to discover where.

Changing women’s lives for the better

Two years after the launch of Internet Saathi, we surveyed former participants on the impact of the program. Respondents felt that the program affected them positively, with 1 in 4 continuing to use the internet after training. More importantly, many women said their lives have changed for the better; some even reported an improved social and economic standing since learning about the internet.

Learn more about the impact of Internet Saathi:

The impact after two years

90%

of women who have trained with Saathis understand the Internet better

25%

of women who learn to use internet, on average, continue to use it

33%

of trained women think that their economic standing has improved

 

 

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