“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Hexagon’s Capability Centre India (HCCI), which acts as a key global technology R&D hub and employs over 1,500 people is committed to demonstrating the heart of service specifically by bringing change to the lives of adolescent girls and women by helping them become more independent and confident.
Often, high school education and beyond is not the primary path for young women in rural communities in India. At Hexagon, we believe female empowerment is the catalyst for sustainable change, and our dedicated team at HCCI is realising the vision of equipping women and girls with quality education, adequate skills and – above all – self-confidence to help them reach their fullest potential.
Thanks to a partnership with a local non-profit organization over the past five years, the Women’s Empowerment program is tackling serious issues like child marriage and labour by providing counseling services, as well as the means to learn a beneficial skill and obtain an education. These opportunities will help women and girls to emerge as inclusive participants in the country’s long-term development.
“We realised that fundamental change in women’s lives can be brought about by educating and enabling them to earn”, said Navaneet Mishra, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Hexagon Capability Center India. “We have chosen to engage very deeply and continuously in several villages, as well as partner with a like-minded organisation to enhance the confidence and educational success of these young women.”
Initially, this program was set up to support adolescent girls in the Boddu Chinthalapally village within the Warangal district of Telangana State. Using HCCI funding, the program provided a resource center equipped with a library, sports material, computers, food and access to dedicated teachers. Senior management team members from HCCI continue to visit the center to interact with girls and monitor the tremendous progress being made. Due to its overwhelming success and an understanding of significant needs in other communities, the program has now been replicated in four other villages in that district.
The impact this initiative has made in the lives of these young women goes much deeper than surface level – it’s laying the foundation for a future that once seemed impossible. Today, they are making huge strides in their young lives with 81 percent passing with an “A” average in school, three of the girls getting accepted into a prestigious university in India, one student participating in a National Basketball Championship tournament and yet another being selected to serve in the State Police.
Nagalatha, one of the young women recently accepted into university shared that she went from being “a shy girl who was scared to speak in public” to now feeling she can lead real change in society.
Education is an essential tool that empowers and prepares future generations for employment – which in turn improves livelihoods and growth in rural communities. “The positivity surrounding this program pushes us to do more – creating a more sustainable and empowered future”, said Mishra.
These young women are inspiring change across their villages as a direct result of the opportunities they are embracing and growing from. We are seeing a true ripple effect as they begin to go out to motivate and uplift their peers, as well as those who are younger by sharing a message of empowerment and the long-lasting impact of education.