Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) has announced that it will be supporting the expansion of Young Leaders for Active Citizenship's (YLAC) Digital Champions program with the aim of advancing digital safety on the Internet among young adults. Security and privacy have been the cornerstones of many of Zoom's many initiatives, and this collaboration highlights Zoom's continued commitment to the safety of users on its platform and on the Internet. The program will cover schools across 10 states in India and educate more than 50,000 students in grades eight and above on digital privacy and security.
Through this initiative, Zoom will support YLAC to expand its program to more states in the country, particularly where students are first-generation learners and lack primary knowledge of safe and meaningful use of the digital space. Zoom will support translations of content on digital safety in several Indian languages, starting with Hindi, the most widely spoken language in the country, thereby extending the reach of the program to a larger population.
"At Zoom, we are committed to making the internet a safer place for everyone. We are keen on working with local partners to ensure that India's youth are equipped with the tools to make the best use of the opportunities available to them through the internet. As students across the country are using our platform extensively for remote learning, their safety and wellbeing remain our key priorities. This initiative will not only benefit Zoom users but will also empower first-time internet users with knowledge of digital privacy and security, "said Iravati Damle, Director of Government Affairs, Zoom.
Aparajita Bharti, co-founder of YLAC, said, "The Internet is fundamentally changing our society. At YLAC, we believe that it is important to empower the next generation of digital citizens to take advantage of the opportunities available to them through technology while safeguarding themselves and their communities against its pitfalls. The Digital Champions program seeks to build this capacity and help young adults develop healthy digital habits. "
The program helps young adults become more conscious consumers of information, build digital resilience, and foster a healthier and more meaningful relationship with technology by educating them about various aspects of online safety, including risks and potential threats on the internet. In 2021, the program was successfully piloted in 31 schools from nine states across the country, engaging over 4,000 students. The content of the program, which is currently in the English language, is now being translated into Hindi and other Indian languages in an endeavour to take the program to schools across India via collaborations with state governments and private education institutes.
The Digital Champions program was supported by Omidyar Network India in its first year as a part of its Digital Society Challenge. Welcoming the collaboration, Shilpa Kumar, Partner, Omidyar Network India, said, "At Omidyar Network India, we believe technology must serve society at the broadest level." As India's "next half billion" comes online, this program seeks to inform, sensitize, and equip young internet users to better understand how technology can help improve their lives, the vulnerabilities it creates, and how to lead safe and empowered digital lives. We believe this effort will contribute to helping our young digital citizens participate effectively in the digital economy, and they will also bring this message home to their parents and communities. "
Zoom will further contribute to the program with sessions dedicated to insights on Zoom's features, which focus on young adults' online safety, myth busters for administrators such as encryption of data, routing, and its efforts towards improving access during the pandemic.