Girl children in our country are vulnerable from every aspect, be it female feticide (even before they are born), female infanticide, physical torture, emotional abuse, sexual or any other kind of violence, lack of access to basic and higher education, lack of access to proper sanitation and hygiene, facing neglect from their own family for being born as a girl, victim of trafficking, sold off to red light areas, being married off secretly in minor age and so on.
However, the picture has started changing, albeit slowly. The Government of India as well as the governments of the respective states are trying their best to empower and educate the girl child. In such a scenario, certain companies, foundations and NGOs across India are also trying to contribute for the wellbeing of girl children in whichever way they can. The CSR Journal takes a look into the latest CSR initiatives for girl children.
Quest Alliance and IBM’s ‘Hackathon’ for girl students in Karnataka
In September this year, Quest Alliance and IBM announced the launch of their ‘Hackathon’ programme to promote scientific thinking and build a STEM mindset among girl students in rural Karnataka.
The initiative is expected to reach 1.2 lakh girl students from 800 High schools across the state over a three-year period. In the first year, the Hackathon will cover 68,272 students in seven districts: Chikkaballapura, Bengaluru, Hassan, Chitradurga, Raichur, Gadag and Yadgir, as per the announcement.
They further informed that teachers from the 800 identified schools will be trained to handhold students through their Hackathon projects. A Hackathon consists of three stages – students participate in an ‘Ideathon’ in the first stage, where they discuss ideas and their practicability. In the second stage, students are provided with a basic technology kit consisting of sensors, batteries, wires etc., and are connected to mentors and experts who help them develop their ideas and build prototypes. These prototypes are then showcased to other students and the larger community in the third stage.
The Hackathon model is designed to take students through the entire lifecycle of a project – from identifying the problem, establishing a problem statement, visualising a solution, execution and feedback. More importantly, it makes STEM fields relevant to the lives of young girls, as they are able to identify day-to-day problems within their community and develop a tech solution for them.
The Hackathon initiative is part of IBM’s STEM For Girls initiative, which aims to empower young girls with the right skills and mindsets to negotiate better careers and futures for themselves.
Dream Folks Services Limited adopts two schools to support girl children in Haryana
Airport service aggregator platform Dream Folks Services Limited has adopted two schools in Gurgaon, Haryana to empower the girl child. Government School-Tigra village and Bagiya-a bridge school for underprivileged children in Gurgaon are being supported by DreamFolks under ‘Mission Saksham’, the company announced in October, this year.
They are looking into ‘necessary repairing, installation of water coolers, new blackboards, and provision of text books, note books, bags, and stationery for the students. Often, girls coming from low-income families are deprived of access to education due to their situation. The aim is to give these girls an opportunity to pursue their dreams and hone their skills through this initiative,’ they annnounced.
Milaan Foundation and Sony Music Entertainment India to empower adolescent girls in Uttar Pradesh
Milaan Foundation announced in October this year that they have received funding from Sony Music Entertainment India, which is aimed at uplifting and empowering adolescent girls across the state of Uttar Pradesh. ‘Through this new funding, the foundation plans to scale its flagship Girl Icon Program, a leadership development program that invests in empowering girls at the grassroots level, delivering comprehensive life-skills-based education and instigating collective social action,’ they announced.
‘In the first phase, the foundation will train 2,000 leaders across three states to work with 40,000 young women, with a goal of reaching a total target of working with 100,000 girls by 2025. With the support of this funding, the foundation will further promote continued secondary education, prevent child marriages and gender-based violence, and support the health and wellbeing of adolescent girls from marginalized communities across India.
In addition to empowering women through life skills development, participants in the program will entail interactive activities. These sessions will cover several important topics, including communication, technology, behaviour, and time management – essential skills for job readiness and better quality of life. Furthermore, the program will collaborate with public and private entities to offer job opportunities to participants across industries,’ reads the announcement.
DP World and Fiinovation’s scholarship initiative ‘Pragati’ for girl children in Gujarat
DP World Subcontinent launched ‘Pragati, a unique scholarship initiative promoting girl child education, in association with the not-for-profit arm of Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt Ltd (Fiinovation) – the Centre for CSR & Sustainability Excellence (CCSE) on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, in September this year. Pragati, girl child education scholarship programme will be undertaken in Mundra, Gujarat.
Around 65 girl students are expected to benefit from the scholarship in its pilot year. Over the next three years, DP World aims to support 120 girl students through this initiative, they announced. Saath, an Ahmedabad-based NGO is the implementation partner for the scholarship initiative.
‘Pragati’ seeks to benefit students from lower-income families, who are facing difficulties in completing their high-school education due to COVID-led economic stress. The scholarship programme is expected to cover education-related expenses for each academic year from grade 10th to grade 12th, as per the announcement.
BoAt and Shikhar Dhawan Foundation’s ‘Freedom to Play’ initiative in Delhi NCR
Under the ‘Freedom to Play’ talent development initiative, boAt and Shikhar Dhawan Foundation organised a football tournament in August this yeat, with the aim of giving girls an opportunity to pursue their dreams and honour their skills.
‘Freedom To Play’ hosted 130+ girls from across Delhi NCR. Not only did the initiative focus on empowering young and passionate girls but also provided talent development scholarships to gratify the best performers with an opportunity to enhance their skills. The tournament was kicked off by Aman Gupta, Co-Founder and CMO, boAt and Indian cricketer and founder of the Shikhar Dhawan foundation, Shikhar Dhawan, on 27th August 2022.
Aurobindo Pharma Foundation’s bicycle distribution to girl students in Telangana
In August this year, Aurobindo Pharma Foundation, in partnership with Rotary Club of Lake District Moinabad, Rotary Club of Ameerpet, Rotary Club of Armour, Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan and The Rotary Foundation, conducted a bicycle distribution drive at Telangana’s Narayanpet District. APF donated 800 Bicycles to girls from 76 Govt Schools in Narayanpet district, cancer screening for women and men, ENT screening for children and a blood donation drive.
The Rotary Club of Lake District Moinabad with the support of the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Clubs globally is keen to execute projects in the areas of safe water, literacy, education, health care, economic empowerment and environment for communities which are in far flung areas and have difficulty in accessing basic development and growth opportunities, they announced.
Sona Comstar partners with Ashoka University to promote women scholars
In September this year, automotive technology company Sona BLW Precision Forgings Ltd or Sona Comstar has signed an MoU with Ashoka University to provide scholarship to eligible women scholars pursuing Computer Science or Mathematics as their major/minor in the undergraduate program. The program is expected to benefit fourteen meritorious and deserving women students from economically weaker backgrounds for three years.
‘Higher education has a life-changing and sustainable effect on individuals, communities and societies. It impacts individuals through improved opportunities, the economy through innovation and skills, and society by increasing awareness and responsibility. Women’s participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in India has risen over the years, but their participation in the workforce remains low. Through this partnership with Ashoka University, Sona Comstar wants to promote women’s representation in STEM education and encourage their participation in the workforce,’ reads their announcement.
Mahendra group’s project Nanhi Kali
As part of the Mahendra group, project Nanhi Kali is a sponsorship program for underprivileged girls across 14 states in India. ‘From far-flung areas such as the hamlets of Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu to the rural outskirts of Banaras, from the tribal hills of Araku in Andhra Pradesh to the sub-plan tribal district of Udaipur, and from the crowded slums of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, to the more remote but cooler locations of Darjeeling, Project Nanhi Kali is ensuring that girls complete 10 years of formal schooling. Along with their efforts to provide schooling for girl children, through their social media accounts and website, they are also trying to spread awareness and combat the stigma around educating girls,’ reads their description.
GESIA IT Association’s desktop distribution for girl students in Ahmedabad and Vadodara
(Gujarat Electronics and Software Industries Association or GESIA IT Association took up the initiative of distributing desktops to the girl students in Ahmedabad and Vadodara on International Women’s Day this year. The IT association aims to impart e-learning and digital literacy among girl students by empowering them to develop the skills required in today’s digitally inclined world.
GESIA IT Association announced that they have distributed over 50 desktops to the girls in the region of Ahmedabad and Vadodara. As digital learning has taken centre stage and technology plays a core role in today’s time, GESIA IT Association aims to create a meaningful impact on the quality of life of these girls by making them future ready for the world. By distributing desktops, the association has taken up an important step towards bridging the digital divide and providing equal opportunity for the underprivileged to learn and grow.