What is that must have before a Hackathon??

The quest for knowledge always lands us on something wonderful and exciting. And thus the first hackathon of my life happened, SHE_HACKS. The only knowledge I had about hackathon was that I have to solve a given problem.

I showed up for the event just because I want to make something useful for the society and through that, I need to expand my skill-sets. Creating my project inside my home’s comfort will drag the project’s time period for too long. So hackathon was the best idea I could come up with to kick start the project.

It was an exclusive woman only hackathon aimed at fore bringing reluctant women tech community to competitions like hackathon which is conventionally reserved for geeky men, as the tag line of the hackathon correctly points out “After all why should boys do all the code”. There were 36 amazing participants who were equally good at tech and many of them would not have shown up if it wasn’t a girls hackathon.

The whole journey was a learning experience. We didn’t waste even a second during the 2-day program. Even on the train we were learning new things, sharing our knowledge, discussing how we will implement and publish our works and so on. In fact, we never got tired of such discussion and what we only discussed was tech and welfare of women in the society. When winners sit together the conversation will always be different and productive.

Government engineering college, Palakkad where the event was hosted was full on the swing and the air reverberated the festive mood.The moment we reached the college till we left with our prize, the volunteers and organizers were throughout helping us and made us feel special. It was that day I realized that volunteering needs some special skills and that it can be done in such an engaging manner. It was a pleasure even to watch them volunteering around.SHE_HACKS was the center of attraction of the whole tech fest and we were welcomed in such a great manner which instilled a desire to participate in more such events.

Mrs.Prasanthy CTO of BOOKNMEET was the mentor of the day whose positive feedback encouraged us to push our limits. The problem statement was to devise a method for reporting the sexual assault of girls within the age group 10–18 anonymously.

We didn’t want to create a new platform to build it instead we wanted to use an existing platform which is very familiar with children like facebook. So we created an FB page named MOANA inspired by the animation film character by the same name who symbolizes courage and braveness. The admins of the page will be trained psychologists who are trained in handling such cases. All the communication of the victim to the organization is through a chatbot which collects all the basic information to file an FIR so that the girls doesn’t feel intimated by talking about such a harsh experience to a real person unless the child asks for professional aid to support her. Then FIR will be filed automatically. There is an algorithm which rates case according to its emergency level and decides its authenticity.Each case is automatically assigned to a mentor who follows up the case.

In short, MOANA ensures that it’s the accused person’s responsibility to prove that he/she is innocent and not the victim’s responsibility to prove that he /she is raped or assaulted.And in nowhere during these procedures, the victim is asked to reveal their identity thus ensuring a maximum privacy.

The chat bot was created using FLASK. The prototype included the working chat bot, website of MOANA where the admin’s of FB page can log in and see their assigned cases and its progress and a database which stores the details.

Thus we tried to hack the problem in a cost-effective yet efficient way.It also included an option for the emergency helpline.

We had one hour to brainstorm which was followed by idea pitching and then the 24-hour hack began which ended with a product pitching.

We were so excited by our win as it was our first experience and we are looking forward to creating this hack as a real venture.

Once we have experienced success then there is no turning back.Because on our way back we were searching for other hackathons to apply and that is the confidence we gained from it.

It is during these pressure-filled moments during a hackathon ,our craziest ideas began to come into reality.Because it is during the darkest hour that we focus to see the light.