These five unique tech innovations are making life easier for our youth. Tech innovations have played a crucial role in helping to educate and assist the youth in today’s rapidly expanding digital world. They support a wide range of topics, including employment for young people, mental health counseling, and awareness of sexual and reproductive health among the youth. Smart digital tools are not just helping to educate, counsel and inform the youth about subjects that concern their health and well-being but also broadening their perspective.
Here are a few thoughtful interventions that are providing online assistance and helping make the world a better place for adolescents.
“Apne hisse ka pradushan kam karein,” is the message that the website ‘delhifightspollution.in‘ welcomes citizens with as it encourages them to do their bit to help the environment. The Delhi government has also launched the chatbot ‘Paryavaran Saathi’ in partnership with UNICEF’s ‘YuWaah’ to encourage engaged citizenship among the young. In 2019, businesses, innovators, UN agencies, civil society organizations and young people teamed up to launch YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India). Of the 10 lakh youth already connected with YuWaah, more than 50 thousand are from Delhi and actively helping to combat pollution by reporting incidents and sending information regarding carpooling, public transport etc.
”Namaste, Main Hoon Sneha!” is the message that SnehAI, a bright eyed, Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbot, hosted on Facebook Messenger, greets everyone with. SnehAI was launched in 2019 as an extension of Population Foundation of India’s transmedia social and behaviour change communication show, ‘Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon’ (I, A Woman, Can Achieve, Anything). The avatar communicates in a friendly tone just like the lead protagonist, Dr. Sneha, providing a secure, personalized and non-judgmental space for young people to share their problems and learn about sexual and reproductive health as well as online safety in Hinglish. SnehAI uses storytelling, games and videos to engage users in conversations on issues such as virginity, contraception, same-sex attraction, masturbation and safe online behaviour.
At a time when post pandemic anxiety and exam related stress are rampant among adolescents, a helpline can be the next best alternative in case there is inadequate emotional support at home or there is a counselling gap at school. “Sirf umeed nahin, azaadi bhi dilaaye,” is the message that this non-discriminatory, inclusive platfom conveys as it encourages individuals from diverse “experiences, backgrounds and abilities” to freely use the services available. The helpline service was designed around the core idea that mental health is an integral component of health and people should know that it is okay to not feel okay all the time and have a compassionate understanding of their own problems like depression and anxiety.
“Apna Waala Doubt Chuno, Bol Behen ka Jawab Suno!” This is the reassuring tenor of an Artificial Intelligence-based chatbot that social messaging application WhatsApp has introduced’ in partnership with a non-profit organisation, named ‘Girl Effect.’ This chatbot (available in both mobile and web versions) offers health-related information regarding sexuality, menstruation, vaccines and relationships in Hinglish and will be accessible even on low-end smartphones to reach underserved women in rural areas. Users need to save the number +91-7304496601 on WhatsApp to start a conversation about a topic of concern and already over one lakh girls are safely and privately using this service to discuss things they cannot share with anyone else.
“Stay focused, be present, or simply Forest,” is the motto of a productivity application named Forest. It is a smart and easy way to plant real trees around the world and make a real difference to the well-being of the planet. Till now over 1,442,888 trees have been planted across the world. The success of the app shows how easy it is to motivate the young to be proactive about important goals if they can be approached in an engaging way that makes sense to them and is relatable.