In association with Farhan Akhtar’s MARD, the social campaign aims to empower women by learning and taking to the internet
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 25, 2014
Google has launched a new social campaign called #ReachForTheSky, in association with MARD initiative. The joint campaign launched www.hwgo.com/reach, as part of Google's initiative to help women get online, will look to build support from existing internet users and encourage more women to learn and use the internet to excel in their lives.
The campaign has been launched with a musical work ‘Chulein Aasmaan’, composed by Salim-Sulaiman and performed live with Farhan Akhtar (singer, writer and performer) and Shraddha Pandit (co- lyricist).
Joining hands with Google’s ‘helping women get online’ initiative, MARD (started by Farhan Akhtar) stands to inspire change in society, to gather support for women empowerment. The jointly promoted campaign will look to generate awareness around the need to get women online as well as encourage existing users to help get more women online, and spread awareness of gender equality and women empowerment.
Rajan Anandan, VP & Managing Director, Google India, said, “Easy and quick access to information can transform lives. India is on its way to become the second largest internet population in the world but usage of internet amongst women in India is lower than most countries in the world. There are 616 million women in India. Close to half of the women are below 25 years age. Empowering the young women population with information and internet related tools could transform India’s future. I am delighted to share that for the first time in India, women internet users’ growth rate in urban India has exceeded men in the last one year. And we need to build on this start, and join the campaign with MARD to encourage more and more women to come online.”
Farhan Akhtar said, “MARD is a progressive movement for a more gender equal world. Our objective is to ask men to rethink their own value system and to be the catalyst for change. There is lack of encouragement for women from their families and friends to use internet or technology to excel in life and we need to come together to address this issue. Technology is not just the domain of men. Democratising access to information can empower women in our country and raise their status in our society. I am excited to join this initiative with our partners, to gather support and encourage men to support and help young girls and women in both urban and rural India to learn and use the internet to improve lives.”
Sandeep Menon, Head of Marketing, Google India, said, “Our Mission is to help bring 50 million women online in India. In the last nine months we have undertaken a number of initiatives reaching over 1 million women across five states in India covering 30 cities and 55 small towns. We have reached out to 950 educational institutes spread across these five states, imparted basic training to over 45,000 girl students and have trained over 5,000 teachers who can continue to educate and inform more girl students. This is a tough task for us and we are constantly learning and adapting to cater to the needs of women in India. We have introduced HWGO internet cart, a mobile way of reaching out to women in villages who find it difficult to travel for our training sessions and we will roll it out across rural areas in more states of India.”
Anurag Rao, CEO, Canvas Talent & Director, Artist Innovations & Repertoire for MARD, said, “MARD will work with content makers around the world in a pledge to engage hearts and minds through art and music for a more gender equal world. #ReachForTheSky is just the start.”
Talking about the song ‘Chulein Aasman’, Farhan Akhtar added, “It is a song about female emancipation, a song about freeing women from the roles that they have been coerced into playing for centuries. It highlights the importance of equal opportunity, possibilities and the impact it can have on women. I am thankful to Salim & Sulaiman and Shraddha Pandit for their support and for creating a wonderful composition. I hope people will like it and come forward to support #ReachForTheSky campaign.”
Internet users can go to www.hwgo.com/reach and join as a mentor and help a woman who has never used the internet through simple lessons on how to get started on the internet, find information that they want, how to use the internet to connect and communicate online. Mentors can contribute by sharing their stories across leading social media platforms with #ReachForTheSky and encourage more internet users to participate. One can also go to www.therealmard.org and pledge their support.