By Deepika RathourNew Delhi [India], Oct 17 (ANI): Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda on Wednesday announced the second phase of GOAL (Going Online as Leaders), a Facebook program aimed at inspiring, guiding and encouraging tribal girls from across India to become village-level digital young leaders for their communities.
Launched earlier this year in March, GOAL connects underprivileged young women from tribal areas with senior expert mentors in the areas of business, fashion and arts to learn digital and life skills.
In the second phase of the program, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook will digitally mentor 5000 young women in India's tribal-dominated districts, together.
Speaking at an event to commence the next expanded phase of the program, Munda said: "Through this partnership the GOAL program will provide economically and socially marginalized young women with the tools and guidance they need to succeed, using the technology they may otherwise have not had access to. It is my pleasure to be here to launch the second stage of this initiative with Facebook in Delhi today".
"This will help women and girls to make their ways to improve their life. Also, this will make them confident to achieve their goals. This will also fill the gap between tribal life and city life," said Munda.
Participants from the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Maharashtra, who are enrolled in the current program were also present at the event.
The program will include weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions, focused on a range of skills such as digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and online safety. In total, more than 2,00,000 hours of guidance will be provided using the Facebook family of apps including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Following the program, the participants will graduate to the GOAL alumni and will continue to receive support and guidance from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will also work with district administration and other government agencies to help secure qualified participants with a fellowship, so they can put their newly learned skills to work.
More than 125 young women have enrolled in the program. Most of them are now using the internet to highlight issues their communities face and have expressed a desire to set up their own business.
Anna Roy - Senior Advisor Data Management and Analysis and Chairperson, Women Entrepreneurship Platform NITI Aayog, and Facebook India leadership team including Ajit Mohan - Vice President and Managing Director and Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, also attended the event. (ANI)