The first wave of India’s digital revolution put Bangalore on the map as India’s Silicon Valley. A second one is now being driven by young people across the length and breadth of India.
As a part of its efforts to empower people to achieve more through the power of technology, Microsoft has been relentlessly working towards enabling underserved Indians with digital skills. Using acquired digital skills to gain access to newer economic opportunities, three individuals from diverse backgrounds – Devi, Farha and Paige – have successfully transformed their lives, fulfilling employment ambitions, personal aspirations and realizing life dreams. These young people have utilized their ambition for growing in life and gaining important life skills along with an entrepreneurship mind-set to fuel their personal growth and economic progress.
Farha, from Delhi, is a young woman who in another time might have been constrained by familial traditions, but now aspires to be a magistrate. She knows that to achieve her dream, a strong foundation of digital skills and work experience will be essential. In India, only 27 percent of women make up the workforce compared to 79 percent of men.
Paige is a transgender from Hyderabad who dreams of having an IT job in the healthcare sector, where her employability would be judged on her skills and experience and not her gender choice, appearance and lifestyle. Her challenge is to make the shift from the informal economy of begging and sex work, to the formal economy where her rights, health and safety will be protected and respected.
Devi, from Chennai, is a young woman who had a tough start in life but now has big plans to grow her water delivery business, using an online customer management system. Her ambition is to inspire other women in her community to follow her example.
Microsoft is committed to building a more progressive future for the youth of the country by creating opportunities for the underserved young people to acquire 21st century digital skills through technical and vocational training; investing in non-profits to deliver this training while empowering their staff with modern workplace technology; and advocating new digital friendly pro-work, pro-youth policies.
Manju Dhasmana, Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft India explains, “Because the young people we work with come from underserved communities, it is critical to complement digital skills training with life skills – job readiness, confidence building, nurturing an entrepreneurship mind-set – to connect them to economic opportunities and set them on a course for a better livelihood.”