A couple of days ago, we showed you a few inventions nominated for the Genpact NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours 2011. These included gadgets for the visually impaired and a multi-lingual technology for mobile phones that can help people only literate in their own regional language.
Today we’ll take a look at some other projects that can help society in different capacities. There’s one that lets you access an MLA's background, while another that helps provide safe drinking water across a village or town. Let’s peek into the list of what more we can expect at GNSIH.
You don’t have to be a Sanskrit scholar to understand that Sarvajal means “Water for all”. Just as the name suggests, the project is aimed at providing clean drinking water to all rural areas across India.
The problem of people getting waterborne diseases due to lack of clean drinking water has been addressed before. While many have tried and failed, the Sarvajal project, which started in Rajasthan and Gujarat, has reached 100 odd villages with about 60,000-plus people getting clean drinking water. This is done by implementing RO Purifiers that incorporate a Reverse Osmosis filtration method which basically applies pressure on the solution and removes large molecules and ions.
What’s more, the water is quite cheap at 30 paise per liter, something that will encourage many in the rural villages to adopt the habit of drinking clean water. Anand Shah, who’s behind this project, says they are on the lookout for people who are willing to act as entrepreneurs for Sarvajal. They have to pay 35,000 for undertaking this project in their village and about 40 % of their profit goes to Sarvajal. Check out their website for more details.
Multi-Biometric ID Project
You've probably heard of the Unique Identification System AADHAR where people are assigned a single card for various purposes like ration cards and more. This project, helmed by 4G Identity Solutions Pvt. Ltd., was for the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the Rayagada district of Orissa that faced various problems which resulted in leakages of essential commodities like rice, kerosene etc meant for the poor.
In this project, the Multimodal-Biometric (Face + 10 Fingers + 2 Iris) based ration cards eliminate different issues like duplication of a ration card and ensures that each person gets his/her allotted commodities.
The impact is such that now the annual savings to the Government of Orissa from Rayagad district alone is Rs 900 million every year. You can check out their website for more information.
Health Automation and Management Services
People in the rural areas have faced problems when it comes to timely medical attention. Quite often they’re left waiting outside a doctor’s clinic or a nursing home. Another major issue is the lack of a proper storage system of medical records of a patient, thereby resulting in the delay of diagnosis and treatment of any disease or illness.
Anurag Srivastava and Group address this problem by introducing a project called Health Automation and Management Services (HAMS). HAMS is an IT based solution that helps people manage their health records and in giving them access to medical treatment. The system primarily acts as a storage service where all records for a particular patient are stored. Thus, doctors can have easy access to medical records during a patient’s check-ups. Also, through the help of SMS services and IVRS Integration, people will know about current epidemics, seasonal diseases, dietitians, health camps and local medics in urban as well as in rural areas.
By implementing HAMS, doctors can consult each other regarding various issues faced by a patient. Gathering information for a patient is just a click away, as is getting an online medical appointment. The data being online, it’s not necessary for patients to carry their medical reports along with them every now and then. This system will also help doctors, pathologies and pharmacies in sharing information, giving easy access and timely medical attention to the patients.
Same Language Subtitling
Although we have many people who’ve acquired literacy in India, many of them face the problem of reading properly. A rough estimate of 325 million people fall into this category in addition to 296 million who are completely illiterate.
PlanetRead and IIM Ahmedabad have come together to devise a fun way to read any language. The project, called Same Language Subtitling (SLS), helps people by subtitling the lyrics of existing songs or TV-based programs in the same language as the audio. So, Hindi songs have Hindi subtitles, Tamil songs have Tamil subtitles and so on.
SLS helps children and elders alike in reading text in a captivating manner and motivates people to develop reading practice. Thus, many who are weak in reading can shed their inhibitions and read on. Currently SLS has been implemented on 8 weekly TV channels, one each in Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. The average cost of SLS is 25 paise per weak-reader per year for 30 minutes of weekly reading. Check out the video below where former US President Bill Clinton talks about SLS.
Election Watch Software
Now we’re talking politics! People who have an active interest in governance don't have to feel left out in this article now.
Election Watch Software (EWS) made by ADRIndia is a web based application that allows people to access information related to the various politicians in their constituencies. This info includes criminal, financial and educational background of a particular parliamentarian. The data can be accessed by voters, journalists and NGOs alike and EWS is not for sale. Other features of this project include SMS and Helpline services for people to get information of their “favorite” politicians. Constituency level and candidate level analysis is also made available on their web portal.
That about sums it up – we have projects for providing food, water, healthcare and necessary information about our beloved government in this write-up. Watch this space as there is still lots more to come before the February 8 event that will decide which of these projects deserve felicitations.
4G Identity Solutions Pvt. Ltd., ADRIndi, Anand Shah, Anurag Srivastava, Election Watch Software, EWS, HAMS, Health Automation and Management Services, IIM Ahmedabad, Multi-Biometric ID Project, NASSCOM, PlanetRead, Same Language Subtitling, Sarvajal, Science and Technology, SLS