From a TFI Fellow making learning fun to Class XII kids creating an healthcare app, the top social stories this week

By Team SS|24th Nov 2019
From healthcare to education, SocialStory brings you the top picks from this week.
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It is often said that one small step can spark a revolution. And here are individuals and organisations helping cause widespread change with their innovation, enthusiasm, and sheer hard work.

Take this story about an app for mental health, for example. Mental healthcare is often seen as frivolous and only what the rich can afford. This is why access to and education on mental health needs to become more affordable. Two Class XII students who have come up with an app to address the issue.

Let’s look at all the top social stories we covered this week:

How this 21-year-old is honouring his uncle’s legacy in the disability space

Launched in March 2019, JAF aims to effectively implement the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Act of 2016, which was one of Javed Abidi’s unfinished agendas. Further, the foundation strives to bring youth together, foster friendships, and create a community where individuals and youth with disabilities know their rights. It trains them to be young leaders in the disability space, and effectively enable change.


Shameer with Javed Abidi on World Disability Day 2017.

JAF organises the Know Your Rights workshops, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Disability Rights India Foundation (DRIF).

The workshops focus mainly on gathering facts. According to Shameer, these workshops train youth in using RTI as a tool for advocating the RPWD Act. As a result, the participants have filed 35 RTIs till now on topics that they chose from the RPWD Act.

Through the workshops, youth are getting aware of and educated about the RPWD Act of 2016. Shameer feels that in colleges, even youth with disabilities don’t fully know about their rights and entitlements. Thus, JAF is finding ways to reach youth with disabilities and provide them with a platform.

How these two women found support from family and friends in their battle against cancer

Reports suggest that among all cancers, it is breast cancer that affects women the most.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), about 1.6 lakh women are estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer in India every year. However, the average five-year survival rate for women with invasive breast cancer is 90 percent, while it is 83 percent for 10 years. This translates to eight out of 10 women.

Voice of Cancer Patients.

Satinder Kaur Rayat and Kulwinder Lamba.

While these facts sound promising, how does one survive cancer? The Voice of Cancer Patients, an online community for cancer patients that brings together messages and conversations surrounding the illness, has interacted with numerous cancer patients in India, and identified a few determined survivors who had gripping tales to tell. Here are two real-life stories of breast cancer survivors that are infused with hope.

Meet the Class XII kids whose app aims to make mental healthcare accessible and affordable

A major issue despite the high incidence of depression, autism, schizophrenia, bipolarism, and anxiety, among other disorders, is the lack of accessibility to mental healthcare caused by a shortage of qualified therapists, the high costs associated with treatments, and the social stigma surrounding mental health. These were highlighted as part of the World Mental Health (WMH) survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Ankur Samanta and Aditya Uchil.

Two Class XII students, Aditya Uchil and Ankur Samanta, are attempting to eliminate some of these barriers with the help of virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The duo is in the process of establishing their startup, VerapAI, which will offer a platform that will integrate a virtual therapist, apart from live therapists, for the treatment of mental health problems.

Aditya and Ankur are on a mission to reduce this percentage by delivering therapy worldwide in an affordable and convenient manner through their app.

Vimal Daga has trained more than 3,500 engineering students in Jaipur for free

Vimal runs a technology and training solutions company called LinuxWorld Informatics in Jaipur, Rajasthan. But apart from that, he has been imparting education to thousands of students for free. The only motive behind his efforts is to enable young minds to make a mark for themselves.

Vimal Daga

Vimal Daga is working to make India's youth job-ready.

Since 2009, Vimal has been engaging with students pursuing engineering across Tier II and III colleges in India with the aim of making them job-ready.

One of the most sought-after skills in today’s world being technical expertise, Vimal trains them in many concepts like coding, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and cloud computing.

In the last 10 years, Vimal has bolstered the learning curve of more than 3,500 students, and helped them gain exposure to employment opportunities. Despite his busy schedule, he achieved this by dedicating three months every year solely for training students.

This former Teach for India Fellow is making learning fun by taking real-life problem statements to the classrooms

Founded in 2018, Imbue was born out of insights Vivek gathered during his TFI fellowship and the skills learnt during his two-year corporate stint at Goldman Sachs immediately after. To date, Imbue Education has worked with nearly 300 students, in the age group of 10-14 years, through interactive workshops and a unique syllabus.


Vivek Vashisht.

The Delhi–based organisation provides a specially-curated experiential curriculum and project-based learning and trainers for the workshops. Its out-of-school workshop model reaches out to students through word-of-mouth and pamphlets.

The course offered by Imbue currently addresses problem-solving through the application of the basics of electronics. Some of the concepts covered in the workshops are basics of electricity, motors, Arduino programming, wireless communication, Bluetooth, GSM, sensors, web development, and design thinking — all of which are taught experientially.

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)

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