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Google India launches second leg of the Internet safety campaign

Partners with IAMAI, government and local law enforcement authorities to take the ‘Be NetSmart’ message to Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi

September 17, 2008

Google India has launched the second leg of its nationwide Internet safety campaign, ‘Be NetSmart,’ in collaboration with the government and local law enforcement authorities. This campaign was launched in Chennai on August 25th 2008, then initiated in schools across Kolkata on September 2nd and is now being taken to schools in New Delhi starting September 15th. During the ‘Be NetSmart Week’ campaigns in Chennai and Kolkata, Google employee volunteers and police authorities visited English, Tamil and Bengali medium schools and reached nearly 11,140 students, 90 teachers, and 17 schools with the ‘Be NetSmart’ message. The ‘Be NetSmart Week’ campaign is now being taken to schools across Delhi in association with the Government of India’s Department of Information Technology and IAMAI.

‘Be NetSmart’ is an interactive campaign that is focused on students, parents and teachers. The campaign aims to celebrate the goodness of the Internet, applaud its impact on society, and educate India’s youth on Internet safety. The sessions in schools cover topics that range from the positive use of the Internet and its increasing role in our lives, to responsible online conduct such as the need to maintain confidentiality, safely download content, carefully post pictures, and cautiously engage in chatting.

Shailesh Rao, Managing Director, Google India said, “The Be NetSmart campaign is not a story about one organisation. It is a story about the young people of India using a powerful medium like the Internet to realise their highest potential. It is vital to empower our youth with all the tools and the knowledge that will help them build a better future. The ‘Be NetSmart’ campaign is a celebration of the Internet and its positive impact on the lives of our children.”

"It is time that we celebrate the role that Internet plays in our lives as a platform for information sharing, self expression, and communication. The Be NetSmart campaign is a nucleus around which we would like to build a nationwide campaign for making the Internet pleasurable, useful and safe. Towards this end, I appeal to all business leaders who have reposed their faith in the digital medium to join hands and support us in our endeavour," said Dr. Subho Ray, President, Internet and Mobile Association of India.

The Be NetSmart campaign was first launched in Mumbai on February 18th 2008, in collaboration with the Mumbai Police, and focused on school children in sixth standard and above. Mumbai police and Google employee volunteers visited English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Urdu-medium schools in Mumbai to conduct this campaign. The campaign in Mumbai illustrated the increasing awareness of students, teachers, and parents about the Internet and its impact. Students, irrespective of their language or Internet usage patterns, were keen on setting aside time from their academic schedule to learn about a practical subject that impacts their lives.

Since February, the national “Be NetSmart” campaign has reached more than 36,000 students. The overwhelming interest in this campaign is a testimony to the power of the Internet as a medium. In just a few years the Internet has moved from the periphery to the centre of our lives. Educating the youth today is imperative to ensure a flourishing Internet that is home to innovation, prosperity and development.

After the metros, Google India and IAMAI aim to join forces with other stakeholders to replicate the success of this campaign in other Indian cities as well.

Media Contacts

Roli Agarwal
Communications & Public Affairs Manager
Google India

Vertika Yadav
20:20 MEDIA
+91 – 9953689693