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E-commerce company Amazon India on Tuesday said it will directly provide 20,000 digital devices to students from underprivileged communities to empower them for a brighter future. 

The company aims to impact 1 lakh students across India in partnership with over 150 large and small non-profit organisations under its 'Delivering Smiles' initiative. 

"Amazon will directly provide 20,000 digital devices to underprivileged young people, in partnership with over 150 large and small non-profit organisations, impacting over 1,00,000 students across India. Of these 150 organisations, 100 non-profit partners will be selected basis internal employee nominations as part of Amazon's volunteering program,' Amazon India said in a statement. 

The company is also inviting customers to either contribute in cash or give their old mobile phones that will be refurbished and distributed to provide digital learning devices to about one lakh underprivileged students. 

Amazon India vice president Manish Tiwary said that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to focus the stark digital divide not only in the field of education but also in access to essential services. 

"Amongst the most adversely affected are young people from marginalised communities. Together with our customers, employees and partners, we aim to bridge the gap by enabling young people with digital devices for continued access to online education and essential services for their families," Tiwary said. 

He said Amazon is committed to investing in the future of the country. "We are aware that while talent and passion are spread across all young people, the opportunity is not. This also led us to recently launch our global signature computer science education initiative, Amazon Future Engineer, in India that aims to enable access to quality computer science education and career opportunities for underprivileged students," Tiwary said.

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