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17-Year-Old Indian Girl Creates “Game-Changer Mask”: How Coronavirus Is Affecting Women And Education #KoolKanyaNews

. 3 min read . Written by Sanjana Bhagwat
17-Year-Old Indian Girl Creates “Game-Changer Mask”: How Coronavirus Is Affecting Women And Education #KoolKanyaNews

Digantika Bose, a student in the 11th grade, came up with a special “Air Providing and Virus Destroying” mask, that could be revolutionary in the treatment of patients infected with coronavirus. Her mask has been called a “game-changer” and has been shortlisted in a national competition held by the National Innovation Fund, as well.

The mask both traps harmful particles and destroys the virus during inhalation, and also ensures only clean air exits the mask during exhalation.

Bose, a science and technology enthusiast, developed the mask within seven days.

Bose says, “I feel very good. This recognition from the Union Ministry of Technology has given me more encouragement and boost.”

If Bose’s incredible work isn’t testament to the immense benefits that come out making education available to women and the dire need to ensure they receive it, we don’t know what is.

Reversal In Years Of Progress

Disruptions due to the Coronavirus pandemic have caused school closures everywhere. Loss of conventional learning and education will be experienced globally. However, while the experience involves just the risk of falling behind for some, for many girls around the world, it could mean a complete erasure of the future they envisioned.

Girls, especially those in low-income communities, will be the worst affected. The lockdown and its economic damages is going to cause significant financial instabilities for a lot of families.

Daughters’ education continues to be one of the first things that the family puts an end to in times of financial crises. 

According to UNESCO, school closures caused by the pandemic will lead to an exponential rise in gender gap in education. It is likely that a large percentage of girls will never return to school. Much of the progress that’s been made in women’s education over the last few decades could be destroyed.

Unprecedented Drop In Women Submitting Academic Papers

An article in ‘The Lily’ explores how during the pandemic, women have been submitting a significantly lesser number of academic papers, while men have been sending in up to fifty percent more than usual.

Their study seems to come to the conclusion that the root cause of this is that the quarantine for men seems to mean more time to concentrate on their academic writing. For women, on the other hand, the quarantine seems to entail significantly lesser time to spend on their writing work than before.  

Women continue to be the ones who are expected to take on a large percentage of the household chores. With the children at home, schooling, taking care of and entertaining them also falls largely on the mother. “Division of labour” in most families, is never a proportionate division.

This can reflect badly on women’s academics if institutions do not consider relaxations for submissions during the pandemic. This is important because if they do not submit their papers within the timeline or they ask for extensions, it could reflect badly on them and badly affect their careers or future in academia.

A Priority, Not A Privilege

Women’s education and academic development should not be treated as a luxury item – one that can be foregone first thing during a crisis.

Digantika Bose’s huge step forward in helping India fight this pandemic is just one example of the marvels that women are capable of when they receive encouragement and educational exposure.

If the progress that has been made in women’s education is rolled back, the consequences could be disastrous. Who knows – with women like Bose as shining examples, it seems like if progress had been achieved earlier, the entire crisis might be much further towards resolution than it is now.