Innovative Mobile App Ideas of Dharavi’s Tech Girls – A Real Inspirational Story

Jigar Panchal

The biggest revolution in mobile applications taking place in the biggest slum area – Dharavi, Mumbai.

A girl with just 15 years of age, Ansuja Madiwal, had a great interest in computers. She got only half hour to explore herself on the computer while she studied at the School of Dharavi in Mumbai. But this was happening before she joined the Dharavi Diary program in 2014. In just one year, she became the master of coding and she made an app for women’s safety named Women Fight Back. The purpose of this app to help women in distress. The features of this app are, SMS Alerts, Distress Alarms & Emergency phone calls. This app has more than 100 downloads on Google Play Store.

Dharavi Diary, a project that brings innovation in girls living in the Naya Nagar neighbourhood. Filmmaker Nawneet Ranjan had initiated this project in 2014. By using the MIT App Inventor, these tech girls of Dharavi now build mobile apps to solve the everyday problems faced by people.

Ansuja says: “When we joined the program, we decided first to look at the problems that our neighbourhood and community faced and then build apps to address them”

Ranjan, who was shifted to India from San Francisco in 2014, is trying to develop an individual server for all the apps build by the members of the project, before they can go live with the bunch of apps in the pipeline.

He has a small office where a group of children come and work with the pair of three. They have given laptops. Each child comes with a unique idea to solve his/her neighbourhood problems. They discuss the problems and find the best solution to solve the problem via mobile app.

Paani Hai Jeevan, a simple but creative mobile app idea of 14-year-old Fauzia Aslam Ansari. She has built this app to organize water collection. Through this app one can come to know about his/her turn to fill water.

Fauzia says,: “The biggest problem that we face here is that we get water every day for only about two hours, from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. It often leads to fights because people try and move their buckets ahead of others in the queue when they move away to do something else”

If everyone sign in to the app who are suffering from these kind of issues, a proper management will be taken place. With this kind of initiative, people will save their time and can avoid arguments as well.

She also included, “More importantly, for girls like me, we won’t have to wait in a queue for two hours to guard our place because the evening time is when we have to finish our homework”

Clean and Green is the another impressive app developed by these girls. This app is built to keep the neighbourhood clean. By signing in this app, one can click the pic of the garbage & report the location as well as the pic with the respected authorities. A person can also report an illegal activity such as plastic burning. This app allows people to sign up for various activities such a weekend Clean-up Drive.

These girls are really creative and doing a great job. Another app that they are working on is about the child labour. This is very critical issue that everyone should be aware of. Through this app, one can report instantly to the higher authorities about the child labour. These girls are also working hard to build PADHAI app. With this app, people who are not able to join the school, can learn basic Hindi, English and Mathematics. This is really a great initiative to spread the education around the world.

Each Big Change Initiates with a Small Idea

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