Did you know that the pandemic affected over 32 crores of students in India according to a UNESCO report? Thanks to the shift to online learning during COVID-19, children are now spending more time online. The exponential rise in children’s use of the Internet has increased their vulnerability to risks / threats such as cyberbullying, online sexual abuse, access to harmful / explicit content and trafficking. In an increasingly digital world, protecting children and young people is a pressing priority. With a mission to “Educate, Empower, Enrich” vulnerable children and youth, WNS Cares Foundation (WCF), the CSR arm of WNS, implements a wide spectrum of education-led initiatives. Cybersafety has been a dominant theme that cuts across these multiple programs that WCF conducts across the globe. In 2017, WCF launched the #CyberSword campaign, creating awareness through a series of videos and multimedia presentations and a competition that reached over 135,000 children, youth and teachers globally. In 2019, WCF launched #ThinkTalkTeach, a compelling campaign with two informative videos on safe Internet practices for school students. The videos have so far garnered 1.8+ Million views across digital platforms.
WCF furthered its contribution in this space with CyberSmart – a holistic cybersafety learning ecosystem for education and empowerment of students, teachers, volunteers and parents. During the pandemic, in May 2020, Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, Government of In d i a , l a unched CyberSma r t nationwide. CyberSmart is a free gamified cybersafety portal for students nationally. It has age appropriate content for students and dedicated pages for teachers, volunteers and parents. It hosts content through short and easily consumable videos in English and nine other Indian regional languages followed by a quiz to assess learning. 50,000 users can access the portal simultaneously and does not capture personal data. The program was also formally launched by the government authorities in the states of Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in India. WCF has been able to leverage partnerships with national initiatives such as the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), an initiative by the Government of India to foster a culture of innovation among children and youth, and the Hyderabad City Security Council. WCF also collaborates with NGOs such as Childline India and Pratham, nonprofits such Responsible Netism and Robotex India, and CSR arms of corporates. CyberSmart has received tremendous support from the Center, NASSCOM and community organisations. The CyberSmart program entered the “Asia Book of Records” for completing 7000+ certifications in two hours. With an audacious ambition of empowering each and every child with the knowledge to traverse the virtual world safely, CyberSmart has successfully empowered over two million users till date and has now been extended to Sri Lanka and The Philippines.