posted on Wed, Nov 13 '19 under tags: freedom, mozilla, tech-education, girlscript

I had a short call with the founder of GirlScript today. This is when I first heard about the organization.

The sorrow state of engineering education in India is why some of my friends started an organization called SkillCorp last year. Their mission was to restore glory to the word “engineer” by skilling up people (no matter how unprepared they seem). I was very excited about the start-up as I feel there is a clear need for improving human resources this way in India for the sake of a better life for everyone. Unfortunately they had to fold after about months of activity due to various misfortunes.

Enter GirlScript

I started talking to Anubha Maneshwar on email to discuss about Mozilla Karnataka partnering with GraphQL Asia (a GraphQL conference organized by Hasura in Bangalore). But the conversation took an interesting turn when we talked about Anubha’s other engagement - that of fixing some of the gaps in technology (computer science, mostly) education in India (and outside India) through GirlScript. Read their “about us”:

GirlScript is a section-8 company registered under Government of India established on 2nd of June, 2017. It started under Mozilla Open Leaders Program to help beginners in technology and programming. GirlScript is open for all community, although it supports diversity and wants to bring equality in tech, therefore, reserves 50% of seats for under-represented groups including women, LGBTQ etc. GirlScript and its different initiatives are driven by leaders throughout the world.

Also listen to this fast paced TEDx talk by Anubha which gives a brief summary of many of the reasons why GirlScript had to exist in the presence of an educational system.

I think one of the biggest reasons GirlScript succeeds is the lack of posturing. There seems to be a simple motto: “GirlScript is committed to help beginners in Tech.” I don’t think I have seen that simple a mission anywhere else. The biggest visible consequence of having helpless beginners at various positions in the tech industry is the anguish that millions of people suffer on government/non-government websites, apps, portals, and various other custom built tools. Other consequences include lack of innovations in healthcare, education, and all other fields that depend on good technologists to disrupt the fields. In a way we can even attribute the depressed economy to this.

An organization that is down to earth in admitting that there are fundamental problems and starting from the basics - that is exactly what we need. AI/ML and blockchain can wait. Kudos to GirlScript for starting this arduous task.

PS: About the “Girl” in Girlscript. It is not a girls-only organization. GirlScript rightly understands the intersectionality of oppression and helps everyone who needs help irrespective of where they stand on the gender spectrum. There is 50% reservation for women (I’m not sure if genders other than male come in this 50% or the other 50%).