Built on the back of a regular bicycle, the carts are modelled on India's traditional distribution system used to ferry everything from ice-creams to industrial goods and will help empower the rural communities. The cycle cart operator or 'Internet Saathi' would train women and act like the postman, who was the single point contact for the village with the outside world both for information and communication.

Tata Trusts will manage the on-ground roll out with its partners, while Google India will invest in providing the internet-enabled carts and training content, bringing India closer to the Digital Vision. The launch was attended by Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata and Google India and southeast Asia vice president Rajan Anandan. The Cycle Carts initiative will provide women with basic training in the usage and benefits of the internet.

"While women are making rapid progress on adoption of internet in urban areas, women in rural India are getting left behind. Today only 12 percent of internet users in rural India are women," said Anandan. "We need to come together to address this challenge and empower women in rural India through training and programmes that can truly transform their lives,” he said.

Tata Trusts executive trustee R Venkataramanan said, "Internet connectivity has become a fundamental need in any society and improves literacy and access to information that is instrumental for socio-economic development.”

“Through this joint initiative with Google, we will reach out to the rural communities, especially women in our country and we are confident that it will contribute towards their empowerment and also self-sustenance," he added.

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