The Mozilla Foundation has more than 12,000 community volunteers who work around schools, orphanages and local communities in India to teach various aspects of data privacy, data security and internet hygiene.
The non profit organisation headquartered in United States believes as billions of Indians come online, the need to apprise this growing digital crowd about safe ways of using internet is paramount. Not only that, Mozilla has a fund of ₹1.4 crore for Indian projects around open source in 2018. The program is called Mozilla Open Source Support programme (MOSS).
Speaking to TheBigScope, Senior Global Policy Manager of Mozilla, Jochai Ben -Avie says , “ Internet in India is reaching out to the last mile and that is why digital literacy is important. We help people understand what is data and to be protected online.” He also points out that through their open source programs, they want to give back to the community and help scale state of the art projects in India.
Apart from pushing open source projects, Avie lamented the wide gender digital gap which shows no sign of decreasing. According to a report by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2017, there are less than 200 million women who own an mobile phone and another report by International Telecommunication Union, 12 % more men use the internet against women. “Gender divide is very bad in India and not getting any better. Many cultural ideologies has set women back even in the digital age, says Avie.
But Avie is hopeful for the situation to improve as he cites positive developments in the Net Neutrality and data privacy in India in terms of policies and regulations.