Team Panthera, a group of 17 girls from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women aim to inspire girls all across the country with their innovations in the field of science and technology. Fueled by enthusiastic women mechanical engineers and having made India proud at international platforms, Team Panthera shares their insights on how to achieve anything when external factors are not in your favor :-

What you girls are doing is so inspiring, how did you get started?

The very idea behind Team Panthera – the idea that brought us together is wanting equality for women. Being women in mechanical engineering, we were appalled by the ignorance of people towards us. Their surprise and astonishment towards our chosen stream was mainly the thing that got us working towards this project. Keeping the technical aspects apart, we hope to inspire the young, aspiring females to consider mechanical engineering as a career option too, the road which is otherwise less taken by females. We hope to empower women through our venture so that they no longer feel overshadowed by men; so that they understand that there is no stopping a woman with a goal to be achieved in her mind.

Besides the cool factor, what other real challenges are you solving with your innovation? How can it be useful in the Indian context?

IRIS 2.0 boasts of a mileage of 300kmpl; a mileage like this is sure to help in solving the impending fuel crisis that the world is facing. The USP of the vehicle is that the vehicle will have a dismantalable chassis. This is done to address the problem of the lack of parking spaces in a populated country in India. We are using aluminium for the shell of their vehicle as it is lighter and are also incorporating the use of carbon fiber, which, in addition to being light, is sturdy as well. These are only some of the few phenomenal changes that we have planned and successfully employed to build our vehicle.

What are some of the challenges that you faced?

We faced a lot of problems during the course of building our vehicle. Some of these included challenges like limited resources and equipments. We were also challenged financially. Not many people were willing to invest their money in this project, causing a lot of setbacks for us. The problem of the social outlook of people also existed. People tended to treat us lightly, we had a lot of problems during our market surveys. Sometimes, even after travelling the whole day, we would have to return to our machine shop empty-handed. People simply refused to understand and believe when we told them about our project; about building such a car just because we are GIRLS.

How did you manage funds for this? How easy or difficult was it to get sponsors?

The entire cost of the project has been borne by us ourselves, however, we have received some amount of sponsorship; both in cash and kind.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Seeing our team grow has certainly been the biggest achievement so far. We started with nothing, except our enthusiasm and zeal to build something that could help the world in the long run. We wanted to overcome all the gender stereotypes that we faced; and we can successfully say that we have done that to a large extent. Our work is being recognized by national dailies like Navbharat Times, etc and praised by celebrities like Vishal Dadlani, Rannvijay Singh, Salim Merchant, etc.

Do you guys see yourself pursuing this post college as well?

We would certainly take all the knowledge and experience that we gained during the course of this project and implement it on a larger scale.

What is your message to the little girls all over India who want to achieve something in the Science and Tech field?

The one big thing that we have learned during the course of this project is to never give up. True, there will be problems, but these problems will only make you better. You will rise stronger, each time you fall. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream, people will try to stop you, they will try to weaken you, that’s what they really want. Let the world be in awe of you. Let them wonder the secret to your success. Go ahead and reach out to your dreams and fulfill them and never look back.

How big a role your college has played in your success?

Our college has played a really big role in our success. They have been a constant source of support and guidance for us. Our teachers provide us with the required technical knowledge that is needed for the completion of this project. Our faculty advisor, Mr Manoj Soni, has constantly motivated us to do better and we are really thankful to him.

What’s next for your team?

We really want to explore other fields; we have successfully built a super–mileage vehicle and we really want to see how other types of cars work. Besides that, we would want Team Panthera to grow through the years and continue making our country proud.

You can learn more about Team Panthera here.

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