Sat, 07 Dec, 2019

The Tenacious : Third place in Human rights Appathon

By Rojan Maharjan

Photo Courtesy: Nischal Aryal

Four students from DWIT batch of 2018 participated in the Human rights Appathon organized by Microsoft Innovation Centre, NHRC and UNDP. The event was held for 3 days, from 5th to 7th February 2016. The team members were Dipesh Bhandari (Team leader, designer and presenter), Nischal Aryal (Designer and Presenter), Yashin Shekh (Developer) and Sabin Pathak (Developer). Together, their team was named The Tenacious.

The idea they presented in the event was “NepHelp”. The application could be used by Nepali workers who fly to the gulf countries for employment. The application would enable thousands of emigrant workers from Nepal who are in unfair situations to fill out a form and automatically send emails to the governmental or non-governmental agencies and get help. This idea got them the third place in the event, and the prize of Rs. 50,000 in Impact Funding.

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The winner of the event were Team RightAvengers with their application “My Rights”. Their application focused on giving solutions to various human rights violations by giving the victims a mode of communication with the organization which is fighting for their right. The app also included a feature in which real stories related to human rights violations are shown. They were awarded Rs. 200,000 in Impact funding. Similarly, "Team Echo" came in second with their application “Namaste Nari”. This application mainly showed all the rights for women by the government and NHRC. Apart from that, its features include a newsfeed where stories about women and the problems faced by them are shared, a complain center, videos and feedback section. They were awarded Rs. 100,000 in Impact funding.

Team Tenacious spent 3 days and 2 nights in Mirabel Resort at Dhulikhel. The first and second days were mainly separated to code their application. They were also given an orientation on the first day, and mentor help in the second day. By the end of the second day, all the teams had finished a prototype of their application. On the third day, all the teams presented their applications in front of the judges, and the top 6 were announced. Then, from the top 6, after a final presentation from each of them, the top 3 were announced. They were provided free accommodation and free items like a notebook, pen, and jackets. When asked what they learned during their time at the appathon, the team leader, Dipesh, answered that they learned about the pressure of working in a team and competing. They met new and innovative people and got exposure to the tech industry.

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Many authoritative figures like Renaud Meyer (Country Director, UNDP), Sophie Kemkhadze (Deputy Country Director, UNDP), Andreas Rotteger (Head of Cooperation, European Union), Anup Raj Sharma (Chairman of Nepal Human Rights Commission), Heema Khadka (Assistant Country Director, UNDP Nepal), Bed Prasad Bhattarai (Acting Secretary, National Human Right Commission) and many more were present in the event. The event began with 500 participating teams out of which 29 teams were selected for the main event. Out of those, Deerwalker’s team Tenacious came in Third position. All they had was an Idea and an optimistic attitude, and with that they came home with the third prize. If that doesn’t inspire every Deerwalker, I don’t know what will.