Bengaluru: Amazon India announced its aim to bridge the prevailing digital divide in the country, increase the accessibility of digital devices for students from underprivileged communities, and thus empower them for a brighter future. In line with this focus, and to strengthen the spirit of the festive cheer, the company announced the launch of ‘Delivering Smiles’ initiative, alongside the Amazon Great Indian Festival 2021. The programme will enable customers to experience the joy of giving and participate in the company’s objective to reduce the digital gap.
Amazon will directly provide 20,000 digital devices to underprivileged young people, in partnership with over 150 large and small non-profit organisations, impacting over 100,000 students across India. Of these 150 organisations, 100 non-profit partners will be selected basis internal employee nominations as part of Amazon’s volunteering programme. Additionally, customers are encouraged to either contribute in cash on Amazon Pay or give their old mobile phones that will be refurbished and distributed to provide digital learning devices for young people.
In an increasingly digital world, access to a digital device can open up a multitude of opportunities for young people to learn, explore and grow; yet a wide digital divide exists in the country. The pandemic has underlined the urgency to bridge this digital divide and ensure uniform access to healthcare, education and financial services online. Through the Delivering Smiles initiative, Amazon India will directly give, and facilitate the contribution of digital devices among students and young people from marginalised communities, and aim to contribute to the digitisation goals of India.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to focus the stark digital divide, not only in the field of education but also in access to essential services. Amongst the most adversely affected are young people from marginalised communities. Together with our customers, employees and partners, we aim to bridge the gap by enabling young people with digital devices for continued access to online education and essential services for their families. This is also our way to bring more smiles and add to the festive cheer of Amazon’s Great Indian Festival across the length and breadth of the country. Amazon is committed to investing in the future of our country. We are aware that while talent and passion are spread across all young people, the opportunity is not. This also led us to recently launch our global signature computer science education initiative, Amazon Future Engineer, in India that aims to enable access to quality computer science education and career opportunities for underprivileged students,” said Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Amazon India.
Cash contribution from customers is enabled by a partnership between Amazon Pay and GiveIndia, India’s largest and most trusted giving platform. Proceeds from the contribution will be used for purchasing new devices, data cards and digital accessories for students. Customers will also be enabled to contribute their old mobile phones online, whereby Cashify, Amazon’s partner in this initiative will enable the pick-up of old mobiles that will be refurbished and given to Goonj, India’s leading nonprofit organization working in the field of sustainable material giving, to benefit thousands of young people.
Speaking of the partnership, Sumit Tayal, COO, GiveIndia, said “The digital divide has widened further in the last 18 months. Millions of disadvantaged students cannot afford the digital devices they need to continue their education. Amazon’s Delivering Smiles initiative in India will help bridge this divide in a simple, effective and scalable way and create impact where it matters most. We hope Amazon customers across the length and breadth of this country take part in this noble cause and give enthusiastically.”
Anshu Gupta, Founder Director, Goonj, said “We all have different ways in which we connect with giving. In the last two decades, Goonj has been creating simple, easy ways in which anyone can pay back to society, make a difference to someone while also extending the life of things that would otherwise end up harming our ecology. We hope this partnership of Goonj and Amazon continues to reverse the flow of unused material for development work. We also hope this triggers other companies and the masses to do the same – to save a lot of usable stuff from going to waste.”
Mandeep Manocha, Co-founder & CEO, Cashify, said, “As an organisation, our mission is to not leave any device unused. Through our initiative ‘Donate for Education’, we have already stepped into making a change in the e-learning space. With this partnership with Amazon India, we hope to bridge the digital divide on a huge scale. We’d love if we can make an unused phone useful for a student in need and bring our country forward.”
The initiative makes it easy for customers to spread cheer and joy this festive season and participate in Amazon’s objective to bridge the digital divide in the nation. Customers willing to join hands and give back to the community can click here to contribute in cash or click here to contribute their old mobile phones. Know more here.