New Delhi: The team of five Students of Class 12 from Amity International School, Noida, won the Bronze medal at Technovation Challenge, the World’s largest Technology and Entrepreneurship Program for girls, held in San Francisco by developing an app Maitri that connects orphanages to old-age homes and being the sole Indian representative as the Senior Division Finalists selected from over 2000 entrants from across the world.
The team, Ananya Grover, Vanshika Yadav, Vasudha Sudhinder, Anushka Sharma, and Arefa were flown to Silicon Valley, California, USA, fully sponsored by Technovation for the World Pitch Summit. Technovation Challenge is the world’s largest technology and entrepreneurship program for girls, which runs across 100+ countries, supported by Salesforce.org, Google.org, the Adobe Foundation, Uber, Samsung, BNY Mellon as well as UNESCO, the Peace Corps and UN Women. It encourages more girls to pursue their passions in male-dominated fields like Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. Through Technovation, girls learn and apply the skills needed to solve real-world problems in local and global communities through technology and launch a startup business of their own.
The team, called ‘Tech Witches’, developed an app ‘Maitri’ that allows the old-age homes and orphanages to sign up and organise meetings, thus facilitating children and senior citizens to spend time together. The app, Maitri, created by the team has seen over 1,000 downloads till date and has 13 old-age homes and 7 orphanages connected through it.
Maitri, borne from the team members’ personal experiences and love for their grandparents, improves the social and mental well-being of the two neglected age-groups by connecting them. Brainchild of Ananya Grover, the CEO of Tech Witches, who came up with the idea after losing her grandparents one after the other. She connected with the other team members, all technical wizards in their respective fields, and worked together to develop Maitri that will look for crowd-funding to collect $40,000, the investment needed for the first year of their operations. Donations received through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding will also help the team recover their operation costs.
Embracing the social cause behind this initiative, Maitri brings together the social values inculcated by Amity International Schools in all their students from the very beginning. Statistics reveal a disturbing image of the demographics in question that further made the group seek inspiration and do something concrete for their betterment. 39% of India’s 103.9 million elderly have been abandoned by their families while on the other hand only 8% of India’s 30 million orphaned and abandoned children get to have a home. Research shows that one in every two elderly individuals suffers from loneliness and depression, while orphaned children severely lack the nurturing love of elderly figures.
Armed with a mission to improve social and mental well-being of children at orphanages as well as senior citizens at old-age homes and provide happiness in their lives, Maitri app provides a platform where willing individuals can donate their time, funds, and other items to old-age homes and orphanages. Maitri has identified its main market as Delhi NCR for now with further plans to expand in the northern region of India shortly.
The work ethics and values instilled by Dr (Mrs) Amita Chauhan, Chairperson, Amity International Schools, drove the team forward. Calling all the girls as the backbone of the society and the Nation, Dr Chauhan pointed at the marked difference in the team of girls after their participation in the Technovation Challenge and thanked their parents for the constant support and encouragement. “Our schools have always taught values to the students that made this noble idea come alive,” shared the Chairperson.
Ms Renu Singh, Principal, Amity International School, Noida lauded the efforts of the girls and called the initiative and the app “Extremely relevant in today’s times”.