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Microsoft tech initiative to empower women

Our Bureau


Ms Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, along with Mr Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft Corp India Pvt Ltd, at the launch of Microsoft's `Unlimited Potential' - a programme aimed at empowering women through the use of technology in rural India. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Aug. 18

IT major Microsoft on Wednesday rolled-out its global `Unlimited Potential' initiative in India by announcing a cash grant of about $261,500 to two non-profit organisations, which would be utilised towards empowering women through the use of technology in rural India.

"Technology is changing life in basic and profound ways. Microsoft is convinced that the use of IT will play a significant role of how we become a developed nation going forward," Mr Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India, said at a news conference here.

The programme is aimed at creating sustainable socio-economic opportunities for women by delivering focused information and communication technologies (ICT) skills training and tools through Microsoft Community Technology and Learning Centres (CTLCs). As part of the initiative, Microsoft has also developed an Unlimited Potential curriculum focusing on technology applications and this would be available in Hindi for the rural community here.

For the roll-out of the initiative in India, in its first phase, Microsoft would partner with two non profit organisation - World Links and Development Alternatives. Microsoft is making a cash grant of $200,000 to World Links India for the programme implementation, and $61,500 to Development Alternatives for building `TARAhaat programme'.

Microsoft would collaborate on TARAhaat programme for creating sustainable livelihood options for women in rural and underserved communities. The TARAhaat programme has created a network of connected infrastructure of CLTCs in districts in M.P., U.P. and Punjab.

"The focus of our initiative with Microsoft will be on delivering ICT learning skills and capacity building of women drawn from the Anganwadi and SHG networks and community members surrounding CTLC. The skills training will be provided through 32 master trainers in 16 CTLCs in the selected districts in Madhya Pradesh and slum cluster in Delhi," Ms Ashish Garg, Regional Co-ordinator of World Links, said.

WorldLink aims at directly training 5,750 women and build capacities of 40,000 community members surrounding the CTLC.

More Stories on : Rural Development | Society & Development | Gender

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