The Logical Indian Crew

Sony Pictures Networks India Strives To Nurture The Dreams Of Young Girls Of India

SPNI and HOPE Foundation collaborated on an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the future of science session on Feb 11 on International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

While we've made some progress in recent years, women are still not getting the due exposure in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics) fields. Women only make up 28% of engineering graduates, 22% of artificial intelligence workers, and less than one-third of tech sector employees worldwide. This lack of equal representation hinders women's participation in shaping the future of science and technology. It is essential to work together to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed! Many organisations are taking initiatives to help women to move forward and grow in this direction.

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) is one such entity that has been educating young girls with NGOs' help and helping them build better lives. SPNI and HOPE Foundation collaborated on an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the future of science session on Feb 11 on International Day of Women and Girls in Science. 25 graduate students from Maharashtra were invited to be part of this event, which aimed at imparting technical knowledge and skills to those from marginalised backgrounds.

Rajkumar Bidawatka, CSR Head at Sony Pictures Networks India, feels that despite the efforts of various organisations, women are still under-represented in STEM fields. He shares, “Our association with the HOPE Foundation attempts to bring about a small but significant change in this scenario. We aim to promote gender diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields by providing resources and support to women pursuing education and careers in these areas.”

Left to right- Rajkumar Bidawatka (CSR Head at SPNI) and Ian Correa (CEO of Hope Foundation)

While discussing the idea behind this initiative, Ian Correa – CEO of Hope Foundation, shared, “Educated, graduate women from underprivileged families have the ability and the necessary skill sets. They, however, lack the opportunity to acquire skills that prepare them for jobs of the future. The SONY-HOPE AI School for Girls is an effort to bridge the gap between aspirations nurtured by determined women and their dreams being realised.”

SPNI has been making significant strides in promoting STEM education and implementing measures to drive positive change. During the interaction, Rajkumar Bidawatka shared his belief that the future of women in science and technology is promising as more efforts are being made to encourage and support their participation in these fields. With the growing understanding of the significance of diversity and inclusion, more women will probably join and thrive in these fields in the coming years. Ian Correa also added that Women in India, equipped with technical and leadership skills, will make a mark not just in India but on global platforms.

And this is not all from SPNI! They also partnered with READ India to offer vocational skill training and educate and financially empower over 1700 underprivileged women in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, and Maharashtra.

Through SPNI and Swades Foundation partnership, more than 600 underprivileged students of the Palghar and Nashik districts of Maharashtra received scholarships, improving their access to education and making a positive difference in their lives. They have also offered quality healthcare and educational services to over 300 girls from marginalised communities living in Mumbai.

Implementing CSR activities isn't a walk in the park; it takes much effort, research, planning, and whatnot! According to Rajkumar Bidawatka, one of the significant challenges is navigating the regulatory landscape. Regulations governing CSR initiatives can be rigid, complex, and ever-changing, resulting in delays or even cancellations of projects. Another challenge is the complexity of the target community: the differences in culture, language, and social norms. Companies may need to conduct extensive research and engage with local stakeholders better to understand the needs and priorities of the community.

The Logical Indian appreciates SPNI’s commitment to providing younger generations opportunities to learn and grow. Education is a fundamental pillar of any society and the cornerstone of a nation’s social, economic, and sustainable development. SPNI aims to boost the nation's journey to success by empowering individuals, communities, and the nation.

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Writer : Devanshee Singh
Editor : Riya Kumari
Creatives : Devanshee Singh