Empower Women and the Girl Child

By Priyadarshini Nigam

A CSR prerogative at Newgen

Gender, as a topic, is visibly seeing more naysayers, whereas gender inequality is still a topic of discussion in many unofficial and official forums, such as the UN. There has been a considerable mindset shift over the last decades, but the UN believes that gender equality is yet to see the light of the day, at least not until 2030.

COVID-19 has worsened the situation due to a massive social and economic fallout. It has dampened all efforts made in areas such as unpaid care and domestic work, decision-making on reproductive health, and gender-responsive financial decisions for the underprivileged strata of society, particularly women. However, gender inequality still takes center stage in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda (SDG) 2030 list of economic, social, and environmental issues. Moreover, in a country like India, CSR around the social upliftment of underprivileged women will continue to be a priority now and in the future.

All CSR initiatives at Newgen are designed to create a more equitable and inclusive society for the woman and girl child. We aim to provide access to resources and aid as a support for their social and economic advancement. Our CSR elements for marginalized women are focused on two parameters-

1) Skilling Women, which could help them in their livelihood

2) Hygiene and Healthcare Knowledge for Women

  1. Woman Empowerment Through Skilling and Digital Literacy

Empowering the girl child and their mothers by giving them a level playing field has always been a corporate responsibility for Newgen. Today, digital skills have become basic life skills, and digital literacy is beyond Google searches and generic email correspondence. While this is one reality, the other is the prevailing digital divide in providing digital literacy to a big part of our youth living in dire circumstances. Narrowing down on the youth brings us to another subject, the percentage of females who compromise their education and their exposure to digital skills.  Our hope and dreams to change lives got us started with one of our initiatives—Newgen Digital Discovery Paathshala (NDDP).  Interestingly, a question we often asked ourselves with the inception of this program in 2015-16 was, “Will we be able to bring about a digital literacy revolution among girl students in secondary government schools in Delhi with our core CSR initiative, NDDP?”

We began NDDP, a digital literacy program for less-privileged children, in government schools in Harkesh Nagar and Tekhand, in Delhi, for classes 6th, 7th, and 8. It started with state-of-the-art computer labs in the two schools we adopted. The CSR facilitators used digital devices to teach the children and made learning fun through PPTs, AVs, quizzes, group discussions, integrated learning, and much more.

  1. Healthcare

A survey says that most underprivileged women, approximately 300 million and above, have no access to safe health & hygiene products leading to a high mortality rate. This is a dire need in the rural parts of India and some slums in the country’s urban regions.

We have taken several initiatives on health camps for creating awareness on adopting hygienic practices, be it on food hygiene, seasonal ailment, or menstruation.

Further, this initiative will be taken ahead where local women can be trained and supported in manufacturing sanitary napkins, which will serve the double purpose of livelihood opportunities to the women and make the product available to the rural audience, enabling them to adopt hygienic practices.

Dedication and focus are needed to expedite the progress of uplifting women from marginalized communities, and we at Newgen are doing our best through our CSR initiatives. We always focus on action with a purpose and stick to it unanimously.


(The author is Priyadarshini Nigam, Director and Head – CSR, Newgen Software, and the views expressed in this article are her own)

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