Microsoft India yesterday announced an additional funding of INR 7.63 crore to three NGOs for enabling IT skills training to underserved communities in urban and rural India under its flagship effort, the Unlimited Potential – Community Technology Skills Program (UP-CTSP), christened 'Project Jyoti'. The grant beneficiaries are Aide et Action (India), CAP Foundation and Mahila SEWA Trust, who will receive grants of INR 4.56 crores, INR 1.20 crores and INR 1.87 crores, respectively in cash, software and curriculum. This initiative is for accelerating digital inclusion and bringing the benefits of technology to women, youth and underprivileged communities including unskilled and semi-skilled workers, traditional artisans and craftsmen, people with disabilities and refugees by offering them a package of IT skills, life skills and other useful technical skills.
Microsoft conducts training sessions in Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLCs) across various locations, for imparting basic IT abilities to people of all ages that can help them in exploring new careers, further their education etc. Since its inception in 2004, Project Jyoti has imparted basic computer literacy to over 160,000 individuals. Till date, Microsoft has impacted 20 states and Union Territories through 1000 CLTCs across India by investing INR 47 crore in Project Jyoti under its 'Unlimited Potential' pillar. Commenting on the need for taking IT to marginalized sections of society, Dr. Vikas Goswami, Lead CSR, Microsoft India said, 'A large section of the population in our country lives below the poverty line and the need of the hour is to generate more opportunities for employment for these people. We at Microsoft believe that technology can be a catalyst for this change as it holds the potential to create economic opportunities and enable equitable development.' She added, 'With Project Jyoti, we aim to help realize digital inclusion by providing basic IT skills training to people of all ages which can be a source of livelihoods and information. We are glad to strengthen the relation with our NGO partners, working towards the common goal of taking the benefits of technology to underserved sections of the society and bringing about positive transformation in their lives.'