Ericsson has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Smile Foundation and NASSCOM Foundation to implement its corporate social responsibility initiatives in India.In collaboration with Smile Foundation, Ericsson will drive two programs – STeP Smile Twin e-learning program and Smile on Wheels. Under the STeP Smile Twin e-learning program, Ericsson will support thirty STeP centers across Gurgaon, Noida, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata for a period of three years. The program aims to provide access to quality education to underprivileged youth through training in basic computer, telecom and retail sales management skills – along with proficiency in spoken and written English. The curriculum also includes sessions on personal development, career counselling and placement support.
As a part of the Smile on Wheels program, Ericsson will support five mobile medical units across five cities – Noida, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru over a period of three years. Through this program, Ericsson aims to promote community health and increase the accessibility of healthcare services to the underprivileged and economically weaker sections of society.
In partnership with NASSCOM Foundation, Ericsson will support the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM). As part of this program, Ericsson will adopt and support fifty existing NDLM centers across India and train approximately fifty thousand people on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) over a period of eighteen months. With the purpose of creating employment opportunities for underprivileged youth, the program will also offer job oriented skills.
Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman NASSCOM Foundation, said, “We are delighted to welcome Ericsson as a significant partner in the National Digital Literacy Mission. The corporate sector has shown great resolve in partnering with the Government in this visionary program and we look forward to more companies participating by end of 2015.”
Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Officer, Smile Foundation, said, “Education and health are two of the most important and fundamental tools that can help the less privileged to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty and suffering, and transform into an empowered populace. We would like to thank Ericsson for helping us strengthen our healthcare and skill training programmes, and enable us to extend our reach further, through their valuable support and trust.”
Amitabh Ray, Managing Director of Ericsson India Global Services, says, “As one of the leading players in the ICT market, we believe that through the combined use of technology and expertise of employees, we can make a positive impact to the communities we serve. Our partnership with Smile Foundation will enable us to transform the Indian society and economy in a constantly changing environment. Our partnership with NASSCOM Foundation aligns us to the Government of India’s vision of making one person in each household of the country digitally literate by 2020. In the long run, Ericsson would like to enable digitally empowered communities where usage of technology is part and parcel of everyday life across India.”
The new projects are in addition to Ericsson’s ongoing partnerships and programs with leading NGOs in India – Plan International (India Chapter), Smile Foundation and Pratham Education Foundation for its Connect to Learn initiative that implements information and communications technology (ICT) in schools in resource poor settings, to ensure that children, no matter where they live, have access to learning resources and quality education.