Transformative Tech: Three Projects Aiming to Change the Lives of India’s Young Women

by Liz Austin

Give people the tools, skills and opportunity to learn, and they can transform their world. Today, there are few better tools than science, technology, engineering and math.

That’s the approach taken by the Gyanodaya Foundation’s Slum Innovation project — one of three programs NVIDIA selected last month as part of an initiative in India to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Gyanodaya Foundation participants
Gyanodaya Foundation participants

Since 2008, NVIDIA has helped causes in communities near our three offices in India – Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.

Inspired by India’s Companies Act of 2013 — which calls on businesses to expand their social responsibility efforts — we’re focusing on technical training and education programs, particularly for women and other underserved groups.

So we asked organizations working in India to submit proposals for technology-focused education and vocational training programs that serve underprivileged girls and young women.

These efforts are part of a larger corporate effort to build a diverse workforce. To help fuel this effort, we’re looking to support tech-focused education programs.

A dozen proposals were considered, before we selected three finalists who we believe can deliver high-quality programs that will educate, inspire and change lives.

Tech Skills Make an Impact

The organizations receiving awards are:

Feminist Approach to Technology

Feminist Approach to Technology computer training session
Feminist Approach to Technology computer training session

Feminist Approach to Technology plans to expand to Pune its Young Women’s Leadership Program, which is already up and running in Delhi. The program provides underprivileged young women training in computers, photography and filmmaking to help them gain skills for careers in technology.

Gyanodaya Foundation

The Gyanodaya Foundation will expand its Slum Innovation project to serve the Pune and Mumbai areas of India. The program uses STEM, along with design thinking, mobile technology, and leadership and entrepreneurial skills, to empower about 1,200 girls and women from rural and urban underserved areas to become change makers.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts plans to develop a computer skills course for young women in Pune who’ve recently completed secondary education and are preparing to look for jobs. The program aims to inspire girls to pursue technology careers by developing their skills and providing them with expert guidance.

Previous efforts NVIDIA has funded under this initiative included: opening 50 community libraries to nurture the reading habits of kids in remote and underprivileged areas; providing educational support and scholarships for girls in Hyderabad; improving the campus of a school in Bangalore focused on educating first-generation female learners.