Random Hacks of Kindness - June 2014

The Bangalore Random Hacks of Kindness is a community built with the principles of innovation and openness. We believe technology has a huge impact in solving humanitarian Issues. Hence, twice a year experts from development areas pitch real world problems to the hackers/tech­experts after which hackers form teams choose their problems and hack over the weekend to create a proof of concept to solve part of the problem with technology.

The June 2014 RHoK event was held on 28 ­& 29th. The event this time was hosted in partnership with a set of communities like Beaglesloft, Arduino India , Breakthrough and Saakshin (The Bachchao Project ). This collaboration brought in various expertise ranging from developmental hardware to other expertise of usability on the table, facilitating effective solutions.

Here’s a gist of what went down during the weekend long overnight Hackathon :

It was attended by around 25 hackers on day 1. We witnessed around 8 pitches, some of which were posted before on the hackathon event page. After 3 reviews the hackers worked on 6 solutions at the end of day 2.

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The Problems that were pitched :

Enable India:

Training a visually impaired person to learn to use a computer requires them to become familiar with a keyboard which usually takes a while. How about a better way of handling this.

Doctors without Borders :

Meeting Water and Sanitation needs of displaced people in emergencies is a top priority in order to avoid outbreaks of diarrhoea and other hygiene­ related diseases. This is however not known to all. Hence we need a digital system to share this information .

Taarifa.org :

Taarifa Platform is an open source web API, designed to close citizen feedback loops. Recently they created a water point management application for Nairobi. Taarifa needed an Extrapolation on the platform to work in new contexts and places .

Breakthrough :

We do not know which police stations are women friendly / sensitive to women who are coming to register a complaint. It would be great if we can find a solution that can help the public know about the friendly police stations and thereby encouraging other police stations to take measures to be more gender sensitive.

Pausch Initiative :

Underage labourers and street kids are one of the pressing issues in urban india.They miss out on education and rights because of poverty. Hence there is a need to create a platform to solve this issue involving citizens passively ,actively or anonymously to erradicate this .

NGO Reach :

Lack of interactive platforms to connect the NGO and volunteers makes it hard to find the desired volunteers with right skill set.

Farmalution :

In India, a set of farmers are connected to a supervisor. He helps in educating them with better agricultural techniques, what type of crops to grow in which season, insights about what fertilisers and pesticides to use, irrigation etc.,After the supervisor educates the farmers, it has been a challenging job to monitor the farmers, But there is no feedback mechanism to understand if methods are being implemented or not and are working in a manner intended.

Project Child Care :

Indian Government spends huge sums of money to provide children with education. They have introduced the midday meal scheme and also provide clothing, bicycles, bus passes, scholarships etc. But there is rampant corruption by middlemen which prevents the intended from getting the help .Hence there is a need for cost effective,efficient, simple solution to effectively track these freebies from government, so that it reaches the intended.

The Problems that were worked upon were :

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Farmalution :

After the supervisor educates the farmers, it has been a challenging job to monitor the farmers, if they have implemented the technique or if they need any help etc. Hence a solution where a outbound call(VOIP) is made to a farmer in his local language, and feedback is got based on choosing the desired option. This is later analysed to get statistical information about the implementation.

Team : Satvik Jagannath , Akash Nidhi , Sharath R

Git Hub link : https://github.com/bozzmob/RHoK2014

Tolk :

The solution was done in two ways;

1. Proof of concept for talking keyboard via hardware cracking ­ by developing overlay ­with braille on top of existing keyboard, which could talk when key is touched

2. Working prototype on raspberry pi with usb keyboard & earphone with rasbian OS, Python, espeak TTS. ­They bypassed login & ran espeak login script­ so when a key was pressed on the keyboard it read out via head phone.

Team : Muthu Raj , Anil Prasad M N , Rishi Gaurav Bhatnagar , Rohit Shetty

Project Child Care :

Since the technology chosen should be simple, should have ease of use and be cost effective .QR Code was chosen to be used on school ids. These are generated with the details of the students. A basic smartphone with QR Code Reader app is used by school representatives to scan, after the student receives the benefit thus preventing misuse.

Team : Srikanth Mattihalli , Preetham Hegde

Git Hub Repository: https://github.com/srikantmatihali/childcare

NGO Reach :

A platform was created to create and publicise the events at the click of a button . Such a repository will help those interested in volunteering to help find events happening in their localities.

Team : Varun Vadigeri , Brateesh Kumar , Chandrahas M , Gagan K, Anoop Chandra

Pausch Initiative :

A platform where one can download crowd sourced tutorials was created. This can be downloaded and used in an app which serves as a tutorial for volunteers to teach illiterate people. A case of child abuse can also be reported through this app.

Team : Rohit Shetty , Anoop Chandra

Police Station Safety Audit :

There was no pre­existing data available hence a data collection and display mechanism was created during this event

Team : Ankita H

Farmalution , TolK and Project Child Care were chosen as top hacks among those presented.

Sponsorship :

We would like to thank our sponsors for showing us so much love and support.

Our sponsors are;

Venue : Beaglesloft

Food : Nithin R and Saakshin Technologies

Prizes : Baishampayan Ghose

Printed Bragging Rights : Yogesh Londhe

Banners : Breakthrough

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Sandbox collective provided a much needed break after all the intense brain buzzing, by performing “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead”.

Here are some of the pictures of the event, do take a look, like, share and tag!

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