Over the past few months, there has been a growing buzz around creating awareness on mental disorders and illnesses. However, we still have a long way to go not only in creating awareness but also in removing the stigma associated with it; especially learning and developmental disorders. In India, 13 to 14 per cent of all school children suffer from one or the other kind of learning disability.
Since there is a limited understanding and awareness of early learning disorders, Harsh Songra decided to build an app, My Child App, which will help parents screen mental disorders. By feeding a few inputs parents can now figure out if their child has any developmental or learning disorder.
Though intelligent and bright, Harsh had failed in one subject in the sixth grade. During his parent-teacher meeting, instead of supporting him, his teacher told his parents that they should be sending him to a school for disabled children. His parents were hurt and distraught.
“In India, you aren’t taken through regular tests. There is also a strong stigma associated with any kind of mental illness, making it impossible for many to discuss the issue openly,” says Harsh.
This incident stuck in Harsh’s mind, and he decided to build something in the future that would make other parents capable of screening disorders. When he turned 16, Harsh learnt Android programming, as he felt that technology was the perfect solution. After trial and error, Harsh came up with the app. “The app was able to screen those developmental disorders in 45 seconds which took my parents more than nine years to figure out,” adds Harsh.
The app takes inputs from the parent, like height and weight, and asks some ‘yes or no’ questions. After that, it displays the result informing about the areas of concern in a child, and suggesting the action to be taken.
The app was launched on the Play Store on January 26, 2015. As of this month, the app has got over 1000 downloads. It was also selected in the Facebook Start bootstrap program, and received $25,000 online credits.
“We have a roadmap ready. In the future, the app will evolve as a perfect guide for parents telling them what are the dos and don’ts of bringing up a healthy child. We will also develop a community in the future helping parents to communicate with other parents/doctors through the app, and discussing their problems. We feel that we could actually bring a change in the world and make it better.”
Video Editor: Anjali Achal