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Sunday, September 26, 2010

An open challenge to Software developers

In the past three weeks, I had witnessed something that I never thought I would. As a member of a ‘Child Welfare Committee’ of Vellore district I was able to single handedly locate the families of three missing/ lost boys and restore them to their homes. Contrary to many may believe, it costs me very little except for my time to search for information on the net and making few phone calls.

As satisfying as it is to see the children being restored, as a father of two little girls, my heart still goes out to every child who goes missing/ lost somewhere in this country. Considering the numbers, it appears that this menace needs to be addressed on a war footing but it cannot be done by just a few people that are being appointed to do the work but I feel that it must democratized, decentralized and empowering enough for every one of us to do our bit.

My solution for the above is to use the ‘TECHNOLOGY’. This is what I have in mind. Mobile tele-density in India is about 60% and it is expected to rise to the significant levels in just a few years. Come end of this year, 3G technology is about to be unveiled by the private telephone operators in India. If every missing/ lost child’s information is passed around (in the geography of reference) through the mobile phone (by SMS or MMS) after such information is uploaded to the ‘Childline’ web site, I feel absolutely confident that missing/ lost children menace can be addressed effectively.

I am looking for a group of smart software developers who are willing to write software for such a program. Hopefully once it is tested successfully, it will be submitted to the government of India to implement it across the country. As it is a private initiative for now to do it in the best interest of our nation, developers must be willing to do it for no compensation. Even college level computer science students are welcome to undertake this challenge as a project.

If you’re interested or if you know of someone that would be interested to know more about this challenge, please do drop me a line (at rubynakka@hotmail.com) and I would be more than happy to get in touch with you/ them. I am looking at November 14th (Children’s Day in India) as the possible date to have something so come on by and join in.

If you have web site/ blog/ twitter account / facebook account / email account, feel free to post this information to spread the word around.

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