The Bus started its journey in Karnataka villages on May 4th. It completed three towns Kolar, Mandya and Mysore. Now the bus is in Bangalore. But will be travelling through other towns like Hassan, Arsikere, Shimoga, Bhadravati, Chikmanglur, Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, Gadag and Hospet.
"Response from the villagers were encouraging," said Prasad Ram, the Google India's R&D (Research and development) Centre head. He continues, "For ordinary agriculturists in the remote villages and parents who's children are abroad are finding internet literacy a great help. They are thanking Google for introducing the online life to them. Elder people are interested in communication techniques like e-mail where as housewives are looking for recipes and health information in Kannada. Students in the villages are a different lot. They are interested in education oriented information and entertainment like videos in 'youtube'.
Google's staff in the bus were introducing basics of internet usage like how to browse the net, search information, e-mail a message in Kannada, participate in social networking activity, browse maps or track stock market trends to the villagers in Karnataka. Bus which is connected to the satellite has got three computer terminals in which users can surf the net. The visual demo on the bus shows how common people with basic awareness of internet, could make their daily lives simpler.
Every day around 4000 people are visiting the bus. In each town Google Bus visits two schools and some important market places. Google is keen in popularising Indian Language content and use of the languages on the internet. Seeing the increasing demand of Indian Language on the internet Google started giving option to type Indian Language in their mail service GMail.
“The bus tour in Tamil Nadu was a big learning experience for us and it was inspiring to see that people wanted to know about the internet and share their needs with us. This reinforced our belief that awareness is a key challenge in the growth of the internet in India," said Ram. Access to internet in Indian languages would continue to be a focus area, he added.
After completing Karnataka tour Google bus will be travelling other South Indian states and later in North India.