Infosys Foundation, create STEM scholarship for girls in rural schools for 10+2

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“We can give our children only two things in life which are essential. Strong roots and powerful wings. Then, they may fly anywhere and live independently. Of all the luxuries in life, the greatest luxury is getting the freedom of the right kind.”

― Sudha Murthy

Yashaswini, Afreen and Pooja, final year computer science students, formed a team to participate in an AI Codeathon. We had designed the Codeathon for girls studying engineering in Tier2 and Tier3 cities but not in Tier1 colleges. The idea was to create more opportunities for students beyond the Tier1 corridors. 

In my capacity as a mentor, I discussed roles and responsibilities over a call, but they sounded confused. 

I realised that they had never heard women talk to them about coding.

Then, Yashaswini said softly, "Ma'am, but I don't know how to code!"  I was stunned, the premise of an AI Codeathon is Coding and final year students need to be aware of coding to get a job!.

I have been mentoring school girls and young college kids for programs like Technovation, LearnITGirl and Google Summer of Code. Every single time, children from urban schools and colleges have amazed me with their understanding of complex systems. 

But for the first time, I realized that there is a lack of representation of women in technology in a larger part of India and lack of programs supporting these girls in rural India. 

Which is why I have started this petition to Infosys Foundation to create a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) scholarship program for girls studying in rural schools for them to pursue higher studies (10+2). 

Infosys Foundation has been running programs for education and healthcare for rural areas. As a part of the education programs, so far the foundation has taken many schools into its arms. But we still don't see more representation of girls from these schools in STEM. 

STEM education is the need of the hour. 70% for the future workforce is predicted to have automation or other technology-related jobs. Is it not our duty to then allow the girls to skill themselves? 

In an interview, Sudha Murthy spoke about her struggles in an engineering college. About the permissions from family, about being the first girl in the universe of engineering in B.V.B. College of Engineering and Technology, Hubli and how by entering the gates she broke barriers. 

It's time we have more women representation in science from diverse areas and for women leaders to carve a way for them. And this needs to begin right from the school level.

Please sign my petition so together we can reach out to the inspirational woman, Sudha Murthy, and ask her to create this scholarship.

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