Maitri was created by a team of female students with the goal of alleviating loneliness and depression among children whose parents have died and people who are older and living in group homes. In this article, we take a closer look at the popular Indian app connecting youngsters with role models who are senior citizens.
Maitri was developed by “Tech Witches,” an all-female team of Indian developers.
In an innovative approach to loneliness and isolation, the Tech Witches designed an app to connect people in group homes for seniors with children who have been orphaned. The app earned the team a bronze medal in a prestigious global tech competition staged in the United States.
Maitri is a free app that is available for download from the Google Play Store. In addition to connecting individuals experiencing loneliness across India, the app also enables volunteers to donate to facilities for children who have been orphaned and group homes for seniors.
Tech Witches is a team of Class 12 students from Amity International School.
Anushka Sharma, Vanshika Yadav, Ananya Grover, Vasudha Sudhinder, and Arefa took part in the competition. Their goal was to challenge traditional stereotypes of the tech industry being a male-dominated space.
As Ananya Grover explained, the group wanted to contest the stereotype that girls do not belong in the fields of technology and artificial intelligence. They proved that females are perfectly able to pursue careers in tech and AI.
The Tech Witches traveled to San Francisco to take part in the Technovation Challenge.
The all-female team members left their school in Noida, India and traveled to the US to take part in the largest girls’ technology and entrepreneurship program in the world. Every year, this global initiative invites teams of female students from countries across the globe to apply their technological skills in order to solve significant real-world problems.
Over 2,000 all-female teams compete to address issues from climate change to bullying to domestic violence. Teams leverage the latest technology to develop apps that provide effective solutions to self-selected challenges.
Technovation changes participants’ lives.
Technovation’s creators believe that everyone should have the opportunities, encouragement, and access they need to succeed in today’s tech-driven world. The competition empowers members of underrepresented demographics to be creative problem-solvers and effective leaders through an engineering and technological learning program that places a special emphasis on girls, families, and local communities.
After participating in this high-profile competition, many girls report an increased interest in technology and leadership. Indeed, approximately 58 percent of Technovation alumni go on to enroll in computer science courses. In addition, many past competitors go on to found successful business ventures, present at events, meet world leaders, and return to support future Technovation participants.
Technovation initiative participants have created thousands of apps.
Through Technovation initiatives, 130,000 individuals around the world have learned coding and artificial intelligence skills—and applied them to improve their communities. Additionally, 14,000 educators, engineers, and professionals in the fields of technology and artificial intelligence have served as program mentors.
Not only that, more than 7,000 mobile apps and artificial intelligence prototypes have been developed by girls and their families. Their creations tackle a variety of significant real-world problems from climate change to healthcare. Technovation is supported by numerous leading multinational corporations including Samsung, BNY Mellon, Google, Adobe, Uber, the Peace Corps, UN Women, and UNESCO.
The Tech Witches received the bronze price for Maitri in Technovation 2019.
The Tech Witches were Senior Division Finalists in the 2019 competition. Other competitors included LPSN, a Spanish team that developed When&Where, an app that tracks women’s locations in real time to make it easier for emergency responders to trace them; and Team Uproot, a team from the United States that developed an iOS app which helps users identify and eliminate invasive weeds, particularly those that interfere with agriculture in California.
The winner of Technovation 2019 was the D3c0ders, an Albanian team that developed GjejZâ, an app to help women who have been abused. GjejZâ users can complete a simple test to help them identify situations that are abusive. The app debunks myths surrounding domestic violence; provides calming exercises; shares success stories from survivors of domestic abuse; and provides legal, medical, and psychological consultation options. GjejZâ also helps users find employment as well as providing an SOS menu with emergency resources.
Maitri promotes communication between facilities in India for children who have been orphaned and group homes for people who are seniors.
The app enables participating facilities to sign-up and organize meetings, enabling children without parents to spend time with mentors who are older. This provides the reciprocal benefit of building loving, nurturing connections between young people and individuals who are elderly. The app received more than 1,000 downloads, connecting seven facilities for children without parents with 13 group homes for senior citizens.
As Tech Witches team member Ananya Grover explains, Maitri was initially developed to serve the Delhi-NCR region. However, the team of young developers soon recognized the potential of taking the app nationwide to connect facilities for children without caregivers and group homes for people who are elderly throughout India.
Amita Chauhan of Amity International Schools praised Team Witches’ achievement.
As Chairperson of the girls’ school, Ms. Chahan praised the students for embracing the school’s core values and developing a social welfare app to bring members of the community, young and old, closer together.