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Breaking Stereotypes: Girls Thrive in the World of Mechanical Engineering at BAJA SAEINDIA 2024

As the world gears up to celebrate International Women's Day, a group of remarkable young women is challenging stereotypes and making waves in the traditionally male-dominated field of Mechanical Engineering. These trailblazers were recently spotted at BAJA SAEINDIA 2024, a prestigious national-level event for engineering students, held at B V Raju Institute of Technology's Narsapur campus.

In a sea of young minds eager to showcase their skills, these girls stood out by choosing unconventional paths in the competition, turning left when others turned right. The event focused on the design and fabrication of a single-seater All-Terrain electric buggy, attracting nearly 2000 engineering students from core branches such as Mechanical, Electrical, and Automobile disciplines from across India.

Despite being outnumbered by their male counterparts, these ambitious girls were actively involved in every aspect of the competition. They could be seen lifting their single-seater buggies, fixing tires, and testing the all-terrain electric buggies they had designed. Girls from various institutions, including BVRIT Narsapur and Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology, Bhimavaram, shared their experiences of breaking into fields traditionally perceived as male-oriented.

Around 40 of these inspiring individuals hailed from Telugu states, challenging societal norms by choosing Mechanical, Electrical, and Automobile engineering streams. In a world where more girls are opting for Computer Science, these young women are pursuing core engineering streams that are considered crucial in today's context.

We sat down with some of these aspiring engineers to understand their journey. Lasya, now working with Tata Motors in the Automobile sector, highlighted the increasing opportunities for girls in the industry, leading to more girls choosing non-Computer Science streams. The trend is evident as eight all-girl teams participated in hBAJA, a category dedicated to Hydrogen Vehicles, showcasing the emerging technology in the automobile industry.

Sanjay Nibandhe, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of BAJA SAE India 2024, expressed pride in the girls' accomplishments, especially noting a girls' college, Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology, developing all-terrain buggies using Hydrogen technology. This achievement, he emphasized, demonstrated their proficiency in a field that many are yet to fully comprehend.

According to Mr. Hirotake Harada, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Renault Nissan Tech, out of 4228 participants across four event categories, only 700 were women, indicating a significant gender imbalance. Recognizing the need for change, he suggested revisiting the rules and registration guidelines of BAJA SAEINDIA to foster inclusivity.

In collaboration with Renault Nissan Tech, BAJA SAEINDIA aims to improve diversity and has appointed Deepti Singh as the Diversity Ambassador. The goal is to increase the gender ratio from the current 17% to a more balanced 50% in the future.

The event, making its debut in South India after 17 years, brought together like-minded individuals challenging stereotypes. B. Kanthi Sri, from Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology, Bhimavaram, shared her choice of Mechanical Engineering over stereotype courses, emphasizing the practicality and importance of the discipline.

Other students echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the misconceptions surrounding Mechanical Engineering. PSSN Surekha emphasized her fascination with working with machines and her determination to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering despite initial resistance from her parents.

As the industrial landscape evolves, Anandita from Shahu College of Engineering, Aurangabad, pointed out that modern manufacturing activities are more tech-savvy, smart, and convenient for women. The notion that Mechanical Engineering is not suitable for girls is debunked by these young engineers who find joy and fulfillment in their chosen field.

Despite the challenges and societal expectations, these girls are breaking the cycle and encouraging others to follow suit. The prevailing belief that girls avoid Mechanical Engineering because there aren't enough girls is being challenged, and these inspiring individuals are proving that girls can thrive in any field, including the challenging world of Mechanical Engineering.


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