Empowering girls with education and digital literacy

From Spreadsheets to Jobs: The Big Return on Education

Beneficiaries of digital literacy project

Beneficiaries at the launch of the Code Unnati, Nanhi Kali event

Most of us take computers for granted – we dash off emails, write reports, do accounts, play games without a second thought.

It is only when you meet 14-year old Priyanka Kumari and 13-year old Rubina that you realize how empowering and life-changing computers can be for a whole section of people.

The two girls study at a government senior secondary school in the suburbs of Delhi and now nurture ambitions to become an accountant and a teacher respectively. These ambitions awakened only when their school got computers and they got trained in how to use them.

The daughter of a driver, Priyanka says she had never touched a computer until SAP’s Code Unnati began a digital literacy project in her school. “We didn’t know anything about computers until our school added a lab funded by SAP’s Code Unnati. They taught us MS Word and Excel,” she says, enthusiastically describing what all she can do with the software.

Priyanka is totally fascinated by spreadsheets now and hopes they will lead to a job in accounts. “Our principal runs an orphanage. Perhaps I could help out with accounts there,” she says.

Rubina, meanwhile, wants to become a computer teacher. She says she would love to impart the skills she has learnt to others who have no access.

It’s rather humbling to hear how the girls want to use their newfound skills to train others. It also shows how a small intervention can become a movement and lends credence to the theory that if girls are empowered, the whole nation benefits.

The SAP Code Unnati intervention at Priyanka and Rubina’s school came about thanks to a partnership with the Mahindra Group’s Project Nanhi Kali, which works with girl children. The aim in joining hands is to provide quality education and digital access to over 11,000 underprivileged girl children by 2020.

Since 2017, Code Unnati has trained over a million children across 14 states in language, digital literacy and maths. By tying up with Nanhi Kali the programme gets strengthened and also aligns with the government’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.

They say teach a man how to fish and you feed him for life. Well, teach a girl how to handle a mouse and you can change a whole community’s life.