Guv launches Digital Literacy and Online Safety prog

IMPHAL, 5th Dec: Women of North East, particularly of Manipur are highly talented and they deserve to be sufficiently empowered with the digital technology for a space in this highly competitive world,” said Governor Dr Najma Heptulla at the launch of Digital Literacy and Online Safety Programme at Imphal Hotel here Wednesday.
The programme is a nationwide campaign to digitally empower young girls and women. The campaign is aimed at not only sensitising women and capacity building to help navigate in the internet space, but also empower them to protect themselves and actively respond to issues and incidents like cyber crimes.
Addressing the gathering as chief guest, Dr Heptulla said that the Central Government recently launched the Digital Northeast Vision Document, 2022 in Guwahati with the objective to improve digital connectivity and infuse digital literacy in the NE states in tandem with other parts of the country. The Centre’s flagship programme ‘Digital India’ launched in 2015 has newly incorporated the NE region into the programme, she added.
Dr Heptulla explained that as part of the pilot project under Digital Literacy Programme, awareness training will be conducted for 60,000 women in universities across major cities. The awareness programme at Haryana, Delhi, NCR, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Meghalaya and Sikkim will be for one year and focus on safe and responsible use of internet, social media and e-mail. The programme will enable trainees to differentiate between credible and questionable information circulated digitally. Internet has come to stay in the modern society and it continues to play a pivotal role in our daily lives that no other technology has been able to, she added.
On the positive side, it has given people the opportunity to connect with one another, explore professional skilling and grooming, share information and participate in the global race for development, the Governor said. However, she cautioned that it is crucial for everyone to be aware about safety practices, basic security and privacy tools.
Dr Heptulla then observed that the number of internet users among women is few in India due to lack of digital awareness and literacy about different platforms, their potential and opportunities for a smart usage. Nonetheless, there are successful women running cosmetic product businesses through social media from their homes, women self-help groups selling local village produce on E-Commerce platforms and homemakers showcasing their food delicacies on YouTube.
Social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen, who attended as guest of honour, said that the launch of Digital Literacy and Online Safety Programme is for the women of North East, especially for uplifting and digitally empowering the lives of womenfolk of Manipur. The programme seeks to promote digital literacy for women including precautions that can be taken, raising awareness about cyber crimes via internet.
She also stated that the current use of internet by literate women is still low in the rural and hilly areas, which is due to lack of awareness, ignorance and lack of services as well. In her speech as chief host of the launch function, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said that women are empowered because of digitisation. Safety of women is a top priority and they must have the knowledge to use internet safely and cautiously, she stressed.
NCW member Soso Shaiza; Cyber Peace Foundation president Captain Vineet Kumar; India and South Asia, Facebook Policy Programme Manager Shruti Moghe; NCW joint secretary A Asholi Chalai attended the launch function as guests of honour along with many female students.
The programme was jointly organised by NCW, Cyber Peace Foundation and Facebook.

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