India has been known throughout the last 2 decades to have produced quite a bit of tech talent which then goes on to the US to successfully be a part of and lead disruptive companies. Why has India not benefited from such promising talent? To this end, successful entrepreneur and now venture capitalist, Karl Mehta has announced his new venture called Code For India. As the name implies, the venture seeks volunteer programmers who would like to help build public utility services for Indians on the Internet.
The Code For India project will be looking at real pain points in the current scenario in India and collaborate with various programmers in the country and abroad to build tools to solve them. Some of the projects that have been already been listed on the site include
a. Spotter – a web application which enables better civic reporting for citizens. The open platform lets Civic and public interest groups to study the data on the platform to ultimately get citizens to work with administrative bodies to solve pressing civic issues. The application is designed to be cross platform and is being optimized for low bandwidth usage in order to get greater adoption.
b. Adopt-A-School – This initiative aims to get volunteers to adopt public schools in their area and work towards solving critical resource and management problems. It is common knowledge that the public school system in India has declined severely because of the shortage of teachers. Organizations such as Teach For India are working towards bridging this gap but more such initiatives will definitely improve the results.
c. Bravehearts – This is a concept being stewarded by an organization called Haiyya which aims to create a sustainable way for citizens improve safety conditions and awareness. The project is currently looking at Mumbai and is seeking volunteers to pledge their help in cases of emergency. Based on traction, Bravehearts will spread to other cities. The organization is building an app to facilitate this and it will ready by October.
Code For India’s focus areas have been outlined as Education, Entrepreneurship, Food and Water and Health and Sanitation. Karl’s goal is to get a million programmers onboard. He believes that this goal is possible with the programming talent in India itself. The tools that they develop will be open source and will be applicable to many other developing countries too.
If you are a programmer who is looking out to help, then do check out their website and see if you can contribute.
Website | Code For India