By Elton Gomes
France has appointed Assam native Priyanka Das as an ambassador for an initiative to encourage girls to take up careers in science. The initiative is known as “For Girls and Science” and was launched in 2014 with an aim to promote scientific vocations among the youth, particularly girls, and is supported by the Ministry of National Education of France and the L’Oreal Foundation.
As per a report in Better India, Das has been working on the satellite navigation wing of Rafale fighter jets and was also involved in building a micro-satellite in Paris.
In France, Das will speak with middle and high school students about misconceptions concerning women in science: “As part of the programme, we meet middle school and high school students, and through talks and presentations, we try to clear the misconceptions about scientists and women in science,” said Das in an interview with PTI.
While pursuing her doctorate in France, Das has been offering her expertise in satellite navigation for the French defence company, Safran. As part of her studies, Das is studying navigation signals from satellite systems and she fuses them with other navigation devices in order to find a solution for a highly precise position.
Das said, “I’m working on a very specific matter on how to make positioning more robust and precise. It can have applications as one of the many sensor information used by autonomous systems like a self-driving car for self-localisation.”
Putting India on the global stage
Das has brought recognition to India, making the entire country proud of her achievements. Along with Das, Sathviga Sridhar also managed to make a name for herself after winning the UNICEF award for her comic book in April 2018.
Sridhar, who is based in Chennai, won the prize for her comic book which was based on the 2015 Chennai floods. Sridhar’s character ‘TRé’ was selected as the winner out of 3000 entries in a contest organised by the United Nations in partnership with Comics Uniting Nations. With the win in hand, Sridhar has become a pioneer of sorts in encouraging young girls to pursue their dreams.
India witnessed another proud moment while the world celebrated the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Markle and Harry decided to donate to a Mumbai-based NGO headed by Suhani Jalota. Jalota’s organisation, the Myna Mahila foundation, was the only foreign organisation to be chosen by the royal couple.
The foundation makes affordable sanitary pads for women and employs local women to work in their organisation, thus promoting sanitary hygiene and providing employment.
Women like Das, Sridhar, and Jalota are inspiring young girls around the country to pursue their interests. Women like them are invaluable to Indian society, and their contributions cannot be overlooked.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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