When I learnt about NavGurukul providing girls with IT training, I was pleasantly surprised! Here’s how I think they’re breaking stereotypes!
The lockdown has created monotony in everyone’s life. We are used to being on social media 24×7. There’s no harm in admitting that I have also fallen prey to this habit.
While scrolling through Facebook, I came across a fundraising campaign by NavGurukul. It mentioned, “Help girls from economically-deprived backgrounds become self-reliant. Provide them with IT training.”
I see lots of posts and advertisements on social media, but this particular one struck a chord. So, I Googled NavGurukul’s co-Founder Abhishek Gupta and sent him a message the same day, introducing myself and the work I do. He responded to it, and we spoke over a call very soon.
NavGurukul is a residential IT training institution for girls and boys hailing from economically-deprived backgrounds. It imparts a one-year software programming course in its Bangalore and Dharamshala centres. They don’t just teach software programming but also groom their personalities. And they provide social and emotional counselling while enhancing their communication skills before placing them in different companies.
NavGurukul has been working since 2017, and have collaborated with different NGOs across the country. The NGOs nominate the girls who are then evaluated by NavGurukul and the admissions take place throughout the year.
Being an activist, I have been advocating equal treatment towards girls in STEM education for a long time. From that context, NavGurukul’s concept was a refreshing change for me.
Bitten by the curiosity bug, I decided to pay a visit to the Bangalore campus in Huskur. The campus was alive with cheers and laughter all around. Two of the girls welcomed me. There were more than 80 girls on the campus. Apart from learning to code, they followed a daily routine that included yoga, cooking, classes on spoken English and current affairs.
I conversed with some of the girls from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, and Karnataka. Most of their parents were initially hesitant to send their daughters so far from their hometowns. However, after visiting the campus, they felt it was safe to do so.
The girls said coming here was life-changing for them. All of them agreed that NavGurukul’s unique teaching style has made learning to code an easy affair. They followed a curriculum that suited their learning ability and background. And it never gets boring, as almost every day they learn something new.
I realised how NavGurukul was empowering the girls every day. It is indeed huge that an organisation has dared to challenge the existing stereotype by teaching girls coding. And also ensuring that they have jobs that pay them around 20k-40k in companies like Google, Microsoft, and Accenture.
There exists a huge divide in the number of enrolments of boys and girls in most of the engineering and technological colleges. Usually, the boy to girl ratio is around 5:1.
Small things, like changing a bulb and fixing a fuse, are perceived as herculean tasks for women. Within such a prevailing mindset, an organisation like NavGurkul has trained and placed 200 girls in the last four years.
Picture credits: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
A Human Rights Activist with experience in Anti-Trafficking, Child Rights, Migration, and Gender-based
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