Nepal is not in the greatest shape right now. It will be a long time before the ravaged country is able to bring itself back to normalcy and restore itself to its previous glory. The series of earthquakes that rattled Nepal in April and May is a grim reminder of how nature can rip human lives apart and result in massive loss of property.
While numerous relief efforts by governments and large companies have been underway since the natural disaster struck, a few start-ups are offering efficient tech support to help Nepal get back on its feet. ‘Hack for Nepal’, a hackathon, was recently held with 40 coders coming up with tech solutions to assist disaster management and provide damage control. Hackathon conductor and hiring portal Venturesity conducted the event along with backing from TLabs. Among the coders, Vinayaka Naik along with two others created an adhoc decentralized wireless network that could replace internet from service providers. Such a technology could be capable of transmitting basic information such as GPS co-ordinates of survivors.
“Internet connectivity from service providers sometimes crash and there is no hope of connectivity, especially in remote and rural parts in Nepal. The idea was to build a mobile application that would work despite crash in connectivity, by building adhoc networks,” said Naik who had earlier worked in CISCO employee and co-founded Bengaluru-based Tahron Technologies, a discovery platform that dealt with locating nearest authorised automobile repair shops.
The hackathon resulted in the selection of seven applications that will be used by NGOs like Eva Nepal and Children and Youth First that has tied up with Venturesity. Venturesity has also approached Facebook-backed Internet.org to help in this matter.
Apart from Naik’s application, others ranged from a digital store that stocks up on disaster relief products to a post-disaster victim-discovery service that does not need Internet connectivity. Start-ups like Shopclues and IdeaForge have pitched for the cause as well.
Once again, it has been proved that an entrepreneurial spirit can bring huge differences in the lives of people by offering services that are not easily available. Combined with the relief efforts, such causes can surely help Nepal to bring itself out of the disaster’s stronghold.