“When ACF approached me to implement the internet saathi project, I was not very sure. Forget the internet - women, including me, didn’t even own a smartphone!
But the ACF team was confident. This was a project with Google in partnership with Tata Trusts. The internet was an alien for all of us at that point of time, but is our best friend today. I was nervous but excited too - one thing that excited me about the internet saathi project was riding a bicycle!
Since 2015, I have reached out to 7000 women from 10 villages and earned more than a lakh under this project. Internet has opened up a whole new world for us women.
Look at me! Just 3 years ago I was earning daily wages as a labourer, and today I also run a beauty parlour. Now I just Google search the latest makeup and hairstyles and watch videos on YouTube to learn about it. It’s all so easy! My customers are happy and the business is growing fast.
Not only is my financial status improving but I am being seen as a respectable person in the village. “Log poochte hain, mujhe internet teacher Anitaben ke naam se jaante hain” (People ask about me and refer me as internet teacher Anitaben).
And today, I am much faster in my work than before - I don’t use the bicycle anymore, I purchased my own two-wheeler. It saves my time.” - Anitaben Ashwinbhai Barad, Panadar Village, Kodinar, Gujarat.