This article has been sponsored by Lenovo India.
Progress is a dream realised through hard work and perseverance, something that is never lacking in a true change maker. While all of us wish to live in a better world, it is these individuals who use all the tools at their disposal to create positive change.
Technology, when leveraged efficiently, is one such tool that bears the potential to create massive socio-economic impact across various fields and disciplines. And realizing this, 3 women are making extraordinary strides in their respective fields through the use of technology.
Lenovo, in collaboration with The Better India aims to promote this phenomenon by showcasing them as role models, through its ‘New Realities: The India Chapter’ campaign.
From battling gender disparity to enabling quality education in the country’s remotest corners, these women have efficiently used technology to do it all. They are using technology and learnings from their journey to inspire, support and empower other enterprising women to achieve their dreams. Here are three of those amazing women:
A passionate educator, Jyoti Thyagarajan started the Meghshala Trust to eliminate the gap of quality education in government schools across India in 2013. After spending several years teaching Maths and Physics teenagers in India and Africa, she realised the dearth of quality education in government institutions and she dedicated the rest of her life to finding a sustainable solution.
Literally meaning ‘School in the Clouds’, her organisation provides a cloud computing-based platform to equip teachers with innovative teaching solutions and an imaginative curriculum that enables students to become learners, thinkers and future leaders.
“One of the biggest challenges I have encountered in all these years of work in the education sector is to get people to acknowledge that teachers know what they do and that essentially they want to do a good job. Most people are quick to blame the teachers for the inefficiency of the quality of education, but that is wrong because it is the system that does not provide them with the correct tools to do a great job. My mission has been to fill that gap through the use of technology,” she says. Jyoti adds how teachers today, once provided with access to technology are evolving and improving their teaching techniques to provide quality education.
Her relentless pursuit has now enabled the creation of a network of 18,000 teachers, from Siachen to Kanyakumari, and provided that each teacher has at least 30 students, the number of impacted students goes as high as 5.4 lakh – who represent the tremendous impact Meghshala has created in the education sector and continues to do so every day.
In 2012, Rose Gastler came to India from Missouri (US), with a Walker Fellowship from Hendrix College. As part of the fellowship, she began to work with an NGO called Yuwa that was using sports to educate and empower disadvantaged girls.
After several months of work with Yuwa’s female coaches in the slums of Dharavi, Mumbai, she moved to Yuwa’s base in rural Jharkhand. After working on their education program for two years, she set up a Yuwa school in 2015 along with her partner Franz Gastler. Launched with just 45 students and six teachers as a platform for empowerment, Yuwa School today has helped hundreds of girls to achieve their dreams and ambitions, especially in sports.
Talking about the impact technology can create to improve the lives of young girls in rural India, Rose says, “For a girl in a village, access to technology education can open up a world of opportunities–enabling social mobility, improved gender equality, and a chance to break out of the cycle of poverty.”
The idea that when women help other women, amazing things happen is what gave birth to SHEROES, a community platform for women that offers support, resources, opportunities and interactions via Sheroes.com and the SHEROES App. The brainchild of Sairee Chahal, this platform aims to solve the problems of gender disparity in India by creating important dialogues on topics like women at work and future-of-work, among others.
“Technology cannot fix everything but it can build some bridges. We have 300 million Indian women users on the internet– it is the beginning of breaking barriers and progress for women,” says Sairee.
With her community-meets-deep technology approach of empowerment, Sairee has impacted the lives of over a million women across the country. In the next five years, they plan to reach over 100 million women.
Find more about ‘New Realities: The India Chapter’, here.