‘Social Relay’, a team of three school girls from Chennai, bagged the first place at Technovation Girls organised in the United States of America by Technovation, a global not-for-profit organisation that focuses on technology education. The team won a prize money of $12,000.
The team members — Akshara Vasanth, a Class VI student of PSBB School K.K. Nagar, Ishwarya Kanagaraj, a Class VII student from the Panchayat Union Middle School Poothapedu and Stella Arokiasamy, a Class IX student of Our Angel Matriculation School — were mentored by Tanya Elizabeth Ken, a Class XI student of Kola Perumal Chetty Vaishnav School. Both Stella and Aishwarya stay at Paadhai, a home in the city for destitute children.
At the World Pitch 2019, the finals, Social Relay pitched their app ‘Baton’, which was designed to maximise the social impact of initiatives started by social work interns or students’ internships. “The app works around the idea of a relay race, where the baton is handed over and aims to hand over incomplete social work initiatives from one intern to another so that they are not affected by internships which last only for a limited time. It will bring together social workers, students, corporates, NGOs and volunteers,” the team said.
Speaking from California, Akshara Vasanth said she was thrilled with her team’s win. “This is not just a great opportunity for me, but for girls from across the world. We are looking forward to develop our app further and take it across the country as well as the world,” she said.
The team from Chennai was among six from across the world in the junior division at the World Pitch, which was the final event of Technovation Girls, where they exhibited the functioning of their apps. Over 2,000 teams from 57 countries participated in the competition and six teams each were selected as finalists in the junior and senior division.
“Lack of a social worker empowerment tool is a problem across the world and the team believes that Baton is the solution, as it brings together key stakeholders for achieving social impact, while optimizing social work,” said Tanya, speaking from California.
“I hope more girls are inspired and encouraged to delve into technology and innovation,” she added.
The program encourages girls between the ages of 10 and 18 years from across the world to use technology and apply the skills needed to solve real life problems.