Tech That Leads to Good! Learn How This Foundation Is Using Technology to Empower Rural Women & Youth
Due to a lack of opportunities and skills among the populace, unemployment has long been a problem in the nation. The NASSCOM Foundation was established in 2001 to address the issue by empowering women and young people via technology. In India, the problem of young unemployment has persisted for a while.
Numerous studies, both before and after the epidemic, keep emphasising the severe skill gap and the absence of a thorough curriculum in the educational system. The majority of women in India work low-skilled, low-paying jobs in the informal economy, making skilling women a much bigger challenge than skilling men.
It is a gap that has to be closed immediately since skill development can boost the employment rates of women and young people.
Only 43% of Indians who are working age have jobs, according to statistics from 2021 provided by the World Bank, a lower percentage than Bangladesh’s 54%. Even developing nations like Pakistan outperform India at 48%. The NASSCOM Foundation was established in 2001 to address the pressing issue and work toward releasing technology’s potential for social and economic development.
The organisation, which is founded on the idea of “Tech for Good,” focuses on three crucial areas of intervention: women’s entrepreneurship, skill development, and digital literacy. Nidhi Bhasin, the CEO of the NASSCOM Foundation, stated the following to The Logical Indian: “Technology has unquestionably become the cornerstone of inclusive progress in recent years. It has brought about ACCESS, making our delivery systems more reliable, inclusive, and capable of making a social impact on a far wider audience, all the way to the very last person.”
NASSCOM Foundation Programs
According to the National Digital Literacy Mission, the Nasscom Foundation has a learning management platform called DigiSaakshar that supports self-paced, instructor-led, and hybrid learning models. This platform was created to impart digital skills to communities in order to increase their resilience and sense of self-reliance. The foundation focuses on three primary areas: employment and entrepreneurship for women, skill development, and digital literacy.
The emphasis is mostly on empowering marginalised populations through digital literacy, especially in rural and aspirational districts. The learning management system Digisakshar is the main instrument for teaching digital literacy. Prior to the pandemic, 70% of programme participants in digital literacy programmes were males; nonetheless, the foundation claims that the entire programme has developed and increased significantly in the previous few years. More women are now volunteering to learn digital skills, with 60% of participants being female. “Skilling is one of the most critical aspects of a nation’s economic growth,” the foundation said in a statement about the skilling and employability area of its function.
All skill-building initiatives, according to the NASSCOM Foundation, “ought to be inclusive and centred on creating livelihood options.” especially for youth from Tier 2 and Tier 3 institutions across India, the “Skills Initiative” programme operates via a spherical lens with skilling, employability, and placements as the main features. The skill-building initiatives have benefited almost 2,35,000 people. Last but not least, the NASSCOM Foundation also runs a programme called Women Entrepreneurship that aims to increase the livelihood opportunities for existing female entrepreneurs, with a focus on female agri-preneurs, female artisans, and female owners of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), particularly in rural areas.
Through training in digital and financial literacy, as well as entrepreneurial skills, the programme upskills female entrepreneurs, giving them the tools they need to expand their businesses. Through its digital literacy initiatives, the NASSCOM Foundation affected 5,00,000 people in 2021, with women being the majority of the recipients (about 75 per cent).
According to the charity, 63% of all recipients of its programmes are women at the moment. Using Technology Women gain a lot from technology since it makes the transition from digital literacy to entrepreneurial abilities possible. In addition to the benefits of our programmes on digital literacy and skill development, we also offer a number of programmes specifically designed to advance and support female entrepreneurs.” The mission-driven not-for-profit claims that various programmes have advanced in the public eye thanks to partnerships with elite businesses including Google.org, American Express, and DXC Technologies. NASSCOM Foundation hopes to provide rural women with digital literacy, skills, and capacities through partnerships with these businesses.