Motivational Video
Vol 7 Issue 26, Jun 24 - 30, 2016
    Citizen Reporters      |   | Submit Story
Green WarriorsSocial EntrepreneursUnsung Heroes

Young girl develops Android App that puts Kashmir on your finger tips

   By  Sana Altaf
   Srinagar
01 Jul 2016
Posted 17-May-2013
Vol 4 Issue 20

After two weeks of hard work, without any assistance or help, ‘Dial Kashmir’ became a reality for Mehvish. It provides users detailed information such as addresses, phone numbers and email ids of various essential services and relevant government departments in Kashmir.

It is a one-stop source for information on healthcare, education, transport, the police and so many other sectors and meant that no one now needs to spend time and tedious effort surfing through internet pages, official websites and directories.

Mehvish Mushtaq's phone app is a one-stop source for information on healthcare, education, transport, police and many other sectors. (Photos: Yawar KabliWFS)

One of the realities of Kashmir today is the movement of thousands of Kashmiri youth to other parts of the country in order to seek better career opportunities for themselves, especially in the field of information technology.

One young woman, Mehvish Mushtaq, 23, is determined to buck this trend. Instead, the one ambition she nurses is to create opportunities for young people at home, so that they could win laurels for themselves and for Kashmir.

But who is Mehvish? She happens to be the first Kashmiri woman to develop an android application that goes by the name ‘Dial Kashmir’.

A Srinagar girl, Mehvish did not receive an education in a fancy elite college or university. After completing her schooling from Presentation Convent School, she sat for the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) examination.

Disappointment followed. Having failing to clear the AIEEE, Mehvish joined the SSM College of Engineering and Technology at Pattan, in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

“I was always interested in technology and fortunately my family supported me in my decision to go into this field. In fact, no one in the family has ever forced me to do anything,” says Mehvish, whose father has served as officer with the Indian Foreign Service. Her mother is a homemaker while her brother is pursuing his education in Delhi.

Mehvish completed her three-year Bachelor’s course in 2012 and was wondering on what to do next when life took an unexpected turn. She puts it this way, “I was generally going through my Facebook profile, when an advertisement popped out and caught my attention. It seemed interesting, so I clicked on it.”

That was how Mehvish joined an online course for developing applications. Always a person who wanted to get deeper into subjects that interested her, she found herself immersed in the world of application development.

“The course itself was not long – it was completed in one month. But during that course, we were given a project to develop an application,” Mehvish explains.

The idea of ‘Dial Kashmir’ struck her at that juncture. Kashmir had no yellow pages or dedicated websites with reliable information unlike other regions of India. This meant that people faced a lot of problems trying to track down contact numbers of different departments and services.

Mehvish, knowing well that there were many users of android mobile phones in the Valley, felt that if she came up with the right app she could be addressing an urgent need.

After two weeks of hard work, without any assistance or help, ‘Dial Kashmir’ became a reality for Mehvish. It provides users detailed information such as addresses, phone numbers and email ids of various essential services and relevant government departments in Kashmir.

It is a one-stop source for information on healthcare, education, transport, the police and so many other sectors and meant that no one now needs to spend time and tedious effort surfing through internet pages, official websites and directories. Her application has witnessed an average rating of 4.7 out of 5, with a thousand plus downloads on Google Play.

Mehvish plans to develop a Kashmiri language dictionary

It disturbs Mehvish to note the absence of proper educational and career opportunities for infotech aspirants, which in turn forces thousands of young people to leave home every year. “The absence of relevant colleges and universities is a big issue in Kashmir. Our youth are not able to develop their potential here,” she says.

Mehvish has experienced for herself the innumerable hurdles that prevent Kashmir’s dynamic young innovators from realising their potential. But she would like them not to lose hope and keep dreaming big. Mehvish’s particular dream is to set up her own software company – which could provide employment opportunities for many and contribute to the world of infotech.

Says she, “There is no point in just complaining that there are no opportunities. While that is certainly the case, I believe we have to find ways to create opportunities – not just wait endlessly for the government to act. It’s time we stood up and got noticed.”

Mehvish is working to add more contacts to the application and upgrade it further. She is also contemplating on developing a dictionary for the Kashmiri language.

Says the young woman firmly, “I want to contribute to my motherland by staying right here. I do not want to move out of Kashmir, either to study or to work.” - Women's Feature Service



Print  |  Email  | 
 Share   

You might also like:

Friend makers

Even in these days of social networks, it is hard for a coolie’s son to strike a meaningful friendship with an engineer. But such friendships are blossoming. Orchie Bandyopadhyay finds out

Read More

Banker's interest

He once wanted to create a 'Shangrila' in the Himalayas. In 1993, he was into mergers and acquisitions in Citibank. But now Ramji Raghavan promotes scientific temper and the spirit of enquiry among poor children, says Kavita Kanan Chandra

Read More

Stories on Innovations & Innovators
The Lead Star Digital Issue
adyar bakery
 
Mentoring Tamil Nadu



Popular Stories

Cool relief

Overhearing a home tutor’s physics lecture to his son, Ashis Paul of Grey Dhaka designed a cooling devise, bringing relief to poor Bangladeshis reeling under heat without power, says G Singh

Read More

Sworn benefactor

At the funeral of his brother in 1963, Deo Kumar Saraf swore not to let poverty-struck people die due to lack of medical care. Today, his Anandalok group of hospitals challenge corporate hospitals with their affordable charges, says G Singh

Read More

Nostalgic ride

A last vestige of colonial era, an antique train with wooden coaches still chugs on India’s only private railway line in Maharashtra. Narendra Kaushik traces the journey of Shakuntala Express

Read More

Flattening a myth

Dispelling the long held belief that flat-footed persons cannot excel in sports, Dipa Karmakar has become the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. Partho Burman tracks the bumpy road the Tripura athlete had travelled so far

Read More

River revival

Noyyal, the river that fed the fertile western Tamil Nadu, is today polluted and dry most of the time. To rejuvenate the dead Noyyal, Vanitha Mohan is on an eco-mission. P C Vinoj Kumar profiles her on the occasion of World Environment Day

Read More

Wigs of compassion

A cancer patient’s elation over the wig he had made for her changed Marishetty Kumar’s life.  The wigmaker who made wigs for actors now sells his creations for a discounted price to those who lose hair due to chemotherapy, says Usha Prasad

Read More

Water winner

The ups and downs of B M Balakrishna’s life are linked to water. Starting as a car washer, he went to sell water pumps and then founded a RO plant. S Sainath meets the owner of Rs 20 crore Aquapot that is set to double its turnover this year

Read More

Poor’s banker

The son of a poor sweet shop owner, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh today sweetens the lives of women in poverty stricken homes with loans. G Singh traces the incredibly phenomenal rise of the founder of Bandhan Bank that has Rs.12,500 crore deposit now

Read More

Chef Robot

A love for dosas led to two friends in college fabricate an automatic dosa maker that is making waves by enabling chefs roast the crispy dosas that they were earlier not able to make outside Tamil Nadu. Usha Prasad has the interesting story

Read More

Nursing small towns

After experiencing the trials and tribulations of people from small towns and villages in seeking medical facilities, Dinesh Batra vowed to take specialised health care to smaller places. Today he is living his dreams, says Narendra Kaushik

Read More
 
Kudos image

"The Weekend Leader not only gives a glimpse of the better things happening around us but also tells stories of people who made it possible.”

Ajay Chaturvedi, Entrepreneur More Kudos
 
Archives  |   Columns  |   About Us  |   Contact Us  |   Feedback  |   Response  |     |   Cheers!  |   Support Us  |   Friends of Positive Journalism
© Copyright The Weekend Leader.com, 2010. All rights reserved.