Community Spotlight: Arkodyuti Saha

Kristina Gorr

In India, Arkodyuti Saha is making waves with Hello Web, a campaign to spread web literacy across the country. Using Mozilla’s free and open online learning tools, curricular resources, and the Mozilla Clubs program as its backbone, the Hello Web campaign has had a large impact on many communities and learners. As a completely self-started advocate and campaigner for the open web, we’re honored to feature Arkodyuti in our community spotlight this month.

Arkodyuti Saha

Arkodyuti Saha working with learners during the Hello Web campaign 2016. Photo provided by Arkodyuti Saha.

We asked Arkodyuti to tell us more about his work and inspiration for Hello Web. Here is what he had to say:

What’s your background with the open web? With Mozilla?

I’ve been associated with Mozilla for over one and a half years. I’m glad to be supported by my mentor, Shreyas Narayan Kutty, for backing me throughout all of my initiatives.

What is Hello Web?

Hello Web is an initiative to take Mozilla’s aim of making the world web literate a step closer to reality. By this, Mozillians go across India spreading the message of the necessity of being better web citizens and providing internet connectivity to institutions. Web literacy sessions to teach people about the internet and fundamentals of computers will be held in various orphanages and educational institutions across India.

Kolkata Bloggers is the official event partner. Mio Amore is the food sponsor, providing free cake slices to the kids attending the event. Sourcekart is merchandise partner.

How did Hello Web get started? Where did the idea originate?

Hello Web was first held in December 2015 in cities of India: Kolkata , Surat , Navi Mumbai, Jaipur and Rewa. We were able to reach out to more than 2000 students in December.

Many initiatives have been taken in the past to spread web literacy. So, we decided to do it differently this time around. We decided not only to conduct sessions, but also to do something that helps students on a long term basis. Hence, we are creating Mozilla Clubs and mentoring them so that a proper channel is created for students to learn and experience new things long-term.

This time we not only focus on school children but also children from orphanages and those who are not aware of how the internet can change lives. We intend to make these children aware of how the internet can change their lives by acquainting them with the fundamentals of the web and also provide institutions with internet connectivity.  We tried to enlightened the students with these questions: “Why web literacy? Why is it important? How it can change lives?”

Hello Web India June 2016

How have you seen this campaign impact the local community?

A lot of young bloggers from the Kolkata Bloggers network, from different schools and colleges in the city who volunteered for the initiative, came up with blog posts on the events, on the importance of web literacy in general and on the impact the campaign has made on them. They have set an example that other youngsters are now keen to follow, leading to a better ecosystem which encourages a conducive environment for web learning.

Here’s a list of blog posts by various school and college bloggers who actively participated during the campaign:

How is the campaign inspiring others to #teachtheweb?

There was active participation from volunteers from school and colleges who backed us throughout the campaign from hosting a session, to teaching the attendees, to actively blogging about the campaign. They too reached out to set up Mozilla Clubs later in their schools and colleges to engage students towards participation on the Web.

The Times of India picked up the campaign, which is helping to spread the word across India. It is an Indian English-language daily newspaper, the largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling.

What do you hope to work on in the future with Mozilla or with other open web projects?

Right now, I’m focusing on Mozilla’s resources and trying to integrate Mozilla Clubs in educational institutions. I’m glad to work with few young enthusiastic Mozillians, Shreenath, Ashun, Rayan, Debol, Sourath, Rohit, Kalyan, Tamoghna, Ayan, Farag in India who help me in all possible ways to execute initiatives like Hello Web successfully. I would also love to participate and create more impactful campaigns in the future so that people across India know the importance of web literacy and will start participating on the web.

Learn more about Arkodyuti by following him on Twitter or Facebook.

You can read more community spotlight features here.

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