The world is witnessing its biggest and most unprecedented crisis in recent times- COVID-19. The pandemic which has engulfed many nations together, required brilliant minds to come together to save millions of lives and families. India’s solutions were unanimously appreciated at the recently concluded Global Hackathon, an online hackathon where nations competed to share the best solutions to overcome COVID-19 and its aftermath.
With India’s remarkable feat, the country was invited to lead in the three large categories – as track lead in Crisis-Management, Healthcare-Wellness & Mental Health.
Here is how India placed in its tracks:
(1) Crisis Response-India ranked 1st and 2nd in this category. The first winning idea-Autonomous UV Disinfectant Robot and the second winning idea-PAVAN-Portable and affordable ventilator with assist control mode for novel coronavirus victims
(2) Mental Health- India ranked 2nd in this category. Shashwat Agarwal and team’s idea of ASHA-Connect people with psychologists digitally and cater to rising mental health concerns due to the pandemic.
(3) Health & Wellness- India ranked 2nd in this category-COVID Care-AI powered Digital Hospital & Coronavirus laboratory.
(4) Governance – an additional track in which India stood 3rd with ‘LookOut’ an application that helps the government sustainably reallocate resources, crowdsourcing data from the users to form a Lifestyle Quality Index for a specific area.
Inspired by one of its kind global movement Hack the Crisis, its India initiative responded to the outbreak by swiftly executing Hack the Crisis-India which concluded on the 5th of April 2020 and thereafter joined the global hackathon movement, in less than a day. Despite the lockdown, Hack the Crisis India received more than 15,000 applications and 2,500 team submissions, which were more than any other country in the world. Out of the 2,500 submissions, the best 300 teams were selected and given mentoring support from professionals across Europe and India. With the guidance of the mentors, the 300 teams had 48 hours to develop a working prototype mobilized for implementable solutions. The top 30 finalist teams got a direct entry to represent India at the Global Hackathon which commenced on April 9th and ended on April 12, 2020.
Abhishek Singh, CEO MyGov & CEO NeGD Govt of India said, as a jury member, “It was very difficult to decide the winning teams as we received innovative solutions from young entrepreneurs across the world. I’m very happy with the success of this initiative in India and how quickly it took shape. What I can say today is that only two things can help the world to tide over a crisis of this magnitude and they are INNOVATION & COLLABORATION. And this Hack the Crisis event was a classic example of the same.”
Dr. Garg, Senior Director MIETY, Govt of India said, “As a community, we have never seen a challenge of this kind nor have we seen such innovative solutions that have emerged out of both the Hackathons, which reinforced that we will overcome the unprecedented crisis. MEITY together with MyGov will definitely try to take the solutions on ground. This has been a great learning experience and I am sure all of us will come stronger out of this.”
The success of this global event is a big achievement for nations worldwide as quick prototype-able solutions will help flatten the curve and save millions of lives. Gayatri Chhabria and Payal Rajpal jointly heading Hack the Crisis said, “We aim to strengthen and bolster the fight against COVID19 for India. We are determined to contribute winning ideas from top teams the excellent prototype-able products to mobilize as solutions for the Government of India, additional mentoring by global experts and the implementation of top solutions shall be accelerated to help India and global citizens”
Ritu Prakash Chhabria said, “The challenge we are facing is not insurmountable. What is needed is a commitment to find a solution and I am happy to share that the Global Hack has provided the platform. It’s human instinct to survive against all odds and this is what brought bright minds together and the Global Hack is the perfect example of such a collaboration.”
According to the World Economic Forum, women comprise of the majority of health and social care workers and are on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. It was an all-women led team to successfully organise ‘Hack the Crisis India’ the largest online hackathon of India to fight COVID-19 with solutions to contain the virus and deal with its aftermath by inviting prototype-able ideas to help deal with the pandemic.
The team, helmed by Payal Rajpal, Gayatri Chhabria and Ritu Chhabria with support of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY), Minister of State for Human Resource Development and the government’s popular initiative program-Make in India, MyGov India. Pune and Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra are the worst hit in the entire country. This unprecedented situation further encouraged the all-women led team to work round the clock and help give the world a hack from the crisis that could save millions of lives.