In a significant corporate social initiative aiming at building brand image, Microsoft Corporation India on Wednesday announced the launch of Unlimited Potential - a comprehensive programme aimed at empowering women through the use of technology in rural India. The programme is planned to create sustainable socio-economic opportunities for women by delivering focused Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills training and tools through Microsoft Community Technology and Learning Centers (CTLC).
Ravi Venkateshan, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India, said, "Today almost 90 per cent of India's population is living on the edge of the information and technology divide. This gap becomes more disconcerting when we specifically consider statistics in ICT reach for women in rural India who have little or no access to information and communication technology. I feel enabling greater access to ICT for women holds huge potential for ushering in social and economic change and IT-led sustainable development for the long term."
For the roll-out of Unlimited Potential in India, in the first phase, Microsoft will partner with two non-profit organisations--World Links and Development Alternatives. Microsoft is making a cash grant of $2,00,000 to World Links India for the program implementation and $61,500 to Development Alternatives for building on its TARA program.
President of Development Alternatives, Dr Ashok Khosla, said, "Corporates are increasingly addressing issues of social and environmental responsibility while there is a growing talk of social entrepreneurship and the need to be more business-centric in civil society. Microsoft and we have come together in a unique collaboration to empower women."
Ashish Garg, Regional Coordinator, World Links, said, "The focus of our initiative with Microsoft will be on delivering ICT learning skills and capacity building of women drawn from the Anganwadi and the Self-Help Group (SHG) networks and community works and community members surrounding the CTLC."