Rakhi Kumari is an Internet Saathi from Jamui district of Bihar. As a Saathi, she goes from one house to another every day, enabling more and more women to experience technology, particularly the wonders of a smartphone. However, it’s not an easy job for her either. Firstly, she has to fight the social norms that are bound by patriarchy, secondly travel to villages that often don’t even have proper roads leading to them. She’s even been to villages that could only be crossed by walking through a shallow river, literally, due to the absence of any bridge.
It’s harder for people living in this village, which has no hospital but often sees injuries, especially among children, who have to cross the river to travel to the nearest village for schools and markets. Rakhi believes that access to the Internet can empower the communities by at least providing them a direct access to information.
Internet Saathi is an initiative of Tata Trusts and Google, and implemented by DEF in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, to introduce women to digital tools and the content, information and opportunities the Internet holds. Under this project, women volunteers (or Internet Saathis) have been trained in and equipped with ICT tools and knowledge to connect remote communities to the mainstream world, thus bringing them out of information darkness.