Kanishka Chaudhry, a high-school student from Gujarat, never had an inkling like all of us that mental health would become such a raging debate after the suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The girl, however, is ready with an iOS app to help teenagers and adults overcome mental health issues.
Apple has announced 350 winners of its annual WWDC Swift Student Challenge from 41 different countries and regions, including nearly 15 from India and she is among those next generation of coders and creators.
Apps that can help people make more connections and improve people’s mental health always motivated Kanishka to do something similar for humanity.
“Imagine an app where people with mental health problems can express themselves without any limits and the best thing about that app is they don’t have to share their real identity, like on traditional social media platforms,” Kanishka told IANS.
A student of GNFC Narmada Vidyalaya in Bharuch, Gujarat, she developed one such app called ‘Ralasi Teen’ during the lockdown period that would be available soon on Apple App Store.
“People can share their stories and problems off limits and can have like-minded people to interact with,” she said.
When she won WWDC 2019 scholarship last year, it gave her some kind of positive hope that even not-so-famous apps can bring a change to a community.
“That really encouraged me to do better and develop more apps and software. Apple really encourages students to make apps that bring a change. And that really encourages me to make apps for the community,” said Kanishka.
She made an Xcode playground about mental health awareness this year. The playground starts with some text slide show showing some real facts about mental health.
Apple Xcode is an integrated development environment for macOS containing a suite of software development tools.
The playground that she developed is divided into three parts and shows symptoms of different mental health problems with practical tips.
Indore-based student Amit Sawant who is another winner of the Swift Student Challenge said Apple is motivating students like him to take part in programming through the challenge.
“People are facing lots of mental health issues in this pandemic time like depression and I would love to contribute to develop an app that can help people maintain their mental health,” Amit told IANS.
He is creating a platform for sponsors, content creators, event organizers, and anyone who needs sponsorship after creating next-gen solutions to solve real-life problems.
“This will ease the process for content creators and event organizers, without worrying about sponsorship and meeting the right set of people,” he said.
Another winner Hariharan Murugesan from Chennai started coding in 2014 when Swift was announced.
He already has two apps on the App Store – Neural Vision for iOS and Inhale Air Quality Monitor for iOS and macOS.
“Augmented Reality (AR) apps which tend to create a bridge between reality and computer-generated objects fascinates me. I believe that AR apps have big potential for almost all the fields, particularly education,” said Hariharan.
“With technologies like Apple’s ARKit getting more and more advanced year by year, and entry level iPads getting really affordable, I think AR will revolutionise the way we explore things,” he added.
He is excited about new features on ARKit, Vision, SwiftUI and more.
“With the new iPad Pro featuring breakthrough LiDAR Scanner, I just can’t stop thinking about what features Apple would add next into the new hardware,” Hariharan said.