Dr. Vibha Gupta is developing and promoting economically viable and environmentally appropriate technologies for rural women to become self sufficient. Her institution, Centre for Science for Villages (CSV), is delivering the benefits of science and technology to India's rural women in an effort to raise economic productivity, increase health and quality of life.
Rural women often engage in work that is extremely labour-intensive and hazardous. With less than 1 percent of science and technology funds going to villages, none are used for generating women-friendly technologies. This led Vibha to create the Centre for Science for Villages, to develop & promote economically viable and environmentally appropriate technologies for rural women. The Center has developed over 70 technologies in the areas of renewable energy, mud housing, low cost sanitation, agriculture tools, organic agriculture, improved tools for artisans, and rain-water harvesting technology.
Vibha and her CSV technical staff design and test simple technological tools at their field-based laboratory in Wardha. The staff trains women to use the tools and provides support for maintenance and repair, thereby simultaneously empowering and encouraging them to use technology. She also introduced the ‘Young Scientists Scheme’ and ‘Senior Scientist Scheme’ in the agenda of Science & Society Division of Department of Science & Technology, to support and encourage the spirit of innovation, work on new frontiers of knowledge, assist learning in India and abroad and encourage projects on societal problems.
Vibha also works towards empowering rural women, farmers, and artisans by reducing their dependence on exploitative forces and systems like money lenders, market forces, and Government policies. She has mobilized over 10,000 rural women to advocate for improved sanitary conditions and water access and formed 600 Self Help Groups in 100 villages. She influenced the policy that mandates houses constructed under the Indira Awas Yojana - Rural Housing Scheme be entitled to both the female and male heads of the family. As an expert advisor to the Women, Science and Technology Division of Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, she assisted in setting up Women Technology Centers in the critical arid and desert areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Vibha has brought to the national forum the issue of lack of appropriate technologies for rural women working in the farm, field and factory. To highlight the technologies essential for the rural women she has compiled seven books on ‘Technologies for Rural Women’. Most recently, she formed the Academy of Young Scientists where she hopes to inspire more women to find solutions for society-related science & technology problems
This update was created in March 2014. Read on for the Election Profile.