Partners with Mumbai Police to help 25,000 students ‘Be NetSmart’
March 5, 2008
The Internet has evolved as a great tool for millions across the globe. By typing just a few words into a computer, it is possible to find information about any subject. In a matter of minutes you can find information about universities abroad, listen to music from your favourite music artists, read about Bollywood stars, and compare prices of latest gadgets – the list is endless.
Given the many benefits, it’s natural for children to explore the Internet. From seeking information to making life-long friends, more and more students are coming online. It is, therefore, important to educate them on how to use the Internet judiciously and stay safe online.
With this objective, Google India has launched a national Internet safety campaign called ‘Be NetSmart’. The campaign was launched in Mumbai on February 18th 2008, in collaboration with the Mumbai Police. Since then, Mumbai Police and Google have already reached nearly 15,000 students, 300 teachers, and 30 schools with the "Be NetSmart" message and eventually aim to educate over 25,000 students in the city.
‘Be NetSmart’ is an interactive campaign focussed on students in sixth standard and above. The sessions in schools cover topics that range from maintaining confidentiality and not interacting with strangers online to tips on downloading content, posting pictures, online chatting etc. In addition to students, parents and teachers are also being educated on Internet awareness and the need to be involved with children.
In the last few weeks, Mumbai police and Google employee volunteers have visited English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Urdu-medium schools in Mumbai to conduct this campaign.
Shailesh Rao, Managing Director, Google India said, “Nowhere in the world is the idea that young people are the future truer than in India, so it is critical to empower our youth with all the tools that will help them build a better life. The Internet is feeding the curiosity of youth – encouraging them to ask new questions and to expand the boundaries of their knowledge. The ‘Be NetSmart’ campaign is a step towards ensuring their safety online, while they continue to explore limitless possibilities.”
"Ensuring the safety of children online requires a collaborative effort on the part of parents, teachers, authorities and service providers. This campaign is one such collaborative effort. Google and Mumbai Police are aiming to reach out to students to educate them about Internet security. It is vital to remember that the Internet is here to stay. It is our job to teach our kids to be safe and smart," said Mr Sanjay Mohite, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement).
With an ambitious plan to replicate the success in Mumbai across the country, Google India is in talks with police organizations in cities across India about forging partnerships to together educate students, teachers, and parents in the local communities.
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