New Delhi, India, February 26, 2015: Uninor, the 100% subsidiary of Norway-based Telenor Group, has been awarded with the prestigious Child Rights Champion Award 2015 conferred by Child Rights and You (CRY). The award has been given for Uninor’s WebWise program on increasing the awareness among children and parents of the potential threats and cyber harm. The special jury award recognised Uninor’s strong commitment towards child rights in its sustainability strategy.
“We are honoured to have received the CRY child rights award for the WebWise programme. At Uninor, we firmly believe that children should be equipped not just with the means to access the Internet but with the right information and guidance to be able to safely navigate the digital world. This is especially important in India where 134 million children will get online by 2017 and of these 100 million are going to be first time users. Keeping our children safe on the Internet is our responsibility as a mobile internet service provider,” said Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Uninor.
Uninor is the first telecom operator to launch a program towards creating a Safe Internet experience for Children. WebWise program started in February 2014 with the objective of creating awareness in young children and building digital resilience. Through a school outreach program, children are equipped with practical information on building digital life skills.
“At Uninor, the corporate responsibility program is built around creating a shared value both for business and society. Children are the future of the country and we believe telecommunications has the potential to impact and positively influence their growth. Since the internet is widely used by children for their school work and research, ensuring their safety online is primary,” said Pooja Thakran, Chief Communication officer and CSR head, Uninor.
In a short span of one year, the WebWise program has reached out to 15,000 children across various schools in the six operating circles of Uninor. The ambition is to take this program to another 20,000 children in 2015. Apart from workshops and increasing school participation, Uninor is planning to take forward the Webwise programme through implementing social initiatives and a child helpline in the next phase.
Anita Bala Sharad, Director, Resource Generation, CRY – Child Rights and You said, “Our experience shows that whenever there is a deep commitment from corporates to work on children’s issues, the benefits are long-term and sustainable. When it comes to the telecom world, keeping the children safe is also the responsibility of the service providers. Uninor’s WebWise program is a great example to show the community that while the Internet gives us great opportunities of learning and exploring new things, it is also important for us to keep the online environment safe for the children.”
The CRY Child Rights Champion Awards has been instituted by CRY in an effort to recognize corporates that give special focus to children’s rights and have demonstrated their commitment to children. The award recognizes companies who have ensured that their business policies and practices include children as an integral stakeholder. The jury for the awards deliberated on the vision, policies, significance of initiatives, Impact and sustainability of CSR strategies of different corporations.