Tech Girls From Dharavi – Mumbai, Have a message for you !
Meet Anu from Nayanagar, Dharavi slum neighborhood, Mahim, Mumbai. she is 15 years old and first generation from her family who got a chance to go to school. She lost her father in 2013 in a road accident. She lives with her mother who works as a domestic helper. There are many girls in this neighborhood who are facing a lot of hardship. She is part of Dharavi Diary: A Slum Innovation Project. They started to participate in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) Learning Program. They started to learn computer science and eventually started coding to make mobile application to solve community problems.
Some of the apps Anu and her peers made helped residents document and report sexual and domestic violence and child labor abuses, which are too common in India. The program was a big hit. Anu and her peers began spreading technology they developed throughout their community, especially among women, who tend to bear a heavier burden than men in situations of extreme poverty. But then the fire came.
In early 2016, a fire roared through Anu’s community and decimated about 50 houses. Many of the members of the Dharavi Diary project lost all of their most basic possessions–beds, clothes, and food–as well as the technology–books, phones, and laptops–that helped them make a difference in their community while learning valuable skills and receiving a necessary education.
“This has badly affected their health, studies, self confidence, and self esteem,” says a generosity.com campaign page set up to help the tech girls of Mumbai raise $10,000 to rebuild their school. “They have to start from scratch.”
Every cent goes to helping the girls and the community, including, crucially the installation of a Lumkani fire sensor, which is designed to alert dwellers in dense urban environments like Dharavi of fire.