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Meet 4 startups from India at Start-Up Chile

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Malavika Velayanikal

Start-Up Chile has gained a reputation over the years as one of the go-to accelerators in the world.

In the current 15th batch of startups in the state-backed Chilean accelerator program, India is the only Asian country represented.

The startups involved get visas and equity-free financing to relocate to Santiago for a minimum period of six months, which is the duration of the program. This year, the startups graduating in August will also be eligible to apply for a new follow-on fund called Start-Up Chile Scale if they choose to register the business in Chile.

startup-chile-country-wise-startups

Source: Start-Up Chile.

Now, let’s take a look at the startups from India which are discovering new vistas in the Chilean ecosystem. Education, health, and office productivity are their domains.

CareBuddy

carebuddy

Delhi-based CareBuddy helps people to manage their family’s healthcare – from doctor appointments, lab reports, and medicine delivery to keeping records and providing support.

The three co-founders – Ishan Jha, Ajay Pal Singh, and Kamal Aggarwal – began with the idea of providing an elderly care service for the Indian diaspora when they noticed several of their friends in the US struggling to cope with the care of their parents back home in India. CareBuddy is now an app that acts as a personal digital assistant for a variety of healthcare needs.

Rightaway

work-hard-play-hard-laugh-hard

Photo credit: Glassdoor.

Rightaway aims to provide a better alternative to Slack for businesses. Most collaboration apps are built as silos for teams within an organization. Rightaway recognizes businesses require such tools to work with customers, partners, and others outside the organization as well.

Founder Rishikesh Gorantala was a consulting manager for Deloitte in San Francisco, which gave him the opportunity to work with organizations across the US, Europe, and India. Rightaway is currently recruiting developers for its center in Bangalore.

Rymm Education

teacher student

Photo credit: Ilmicrofono Oggiono.

Rymm is a tool for teachers, students, and parents to collaborate in real time. Its premise is that the teacher-parent link needs to become far more dynamic than the traditional methods of report cards and PTA meetings. It’s currently working with over 40 schools in India.

Like many other Indian startups, Rymm is headquartered in Singapore, where it was incubated at JFDI Asia. Rymm founders Shaik Naushad and Charan Ikkurthi are entrepreneurs from Hyderabad.

MindHour

mindhour

MindHour is a bootstrapped startup from Kolkata in the east, which is beginning to make a mark on India’s startup scene. It uses a gamified approach to make the study of math and science more engaging for students aged 10 to 15. The site has a modest annual charge of US$45 (after a two-day free trial) to “make your school curriculum exciting.” It also has a three-month exam prep module.

It uses freelancers from Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT) campuses to create the learning content.

Two couples are the four founders. One of them, Varun Choudhary, an IIT Roorkee alumnus, is attending the accelerator program in Chile.

This article was first published at techniasia.com

Next Story

Across Asia’s Borders, Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Dial in for Justice

The trial has been ongoing since 2013

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Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India.
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India. VOA

When Neha Maldar testified against the traffickers who enslaved her as a sex worker in India, she spoke from the safety of her own country, Bangladesh, via videoconferencing, a technology that could revolutionize the pursuit of justice in such cases.

The men in the western city of Mumbai appeared via video link more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles) west of Maldar as she sat in a government office in Jessore, a major regional hub for sex trafficking, 50 km from Bangladesh’s border with India.

“I saw the people who had trafficked me on the screen and I wasn’t scared to identify them,” Maldar, who now runs a beauty parlor from her home near Jessore, told Reuters. “I was determined to see them behind bars.”

“I told them how I was beaten for refusing to work in the brothel in the beginning and how the money I made was taken away,” she said, adding that she had lied to Indian authorities about her situation after being rescued, out of fear.

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and Nepal — mainly poor, rural women

and children — are lured to India each year by traffickers who promise good jobs but sell them into prostitution or domestic servitude, anti-slavery activists say.

Activists hope the safe, convenient technology could boost convictions. A Bangladeshi sex trafficker was jailed for the first time in 2016 on the strength of a victim’s testimony to a court in Mumbai via video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Convictions for cross-border trafficking in the region are rare as most victims choose not to pursue cases that have traditionally required them to testify in Indian courts, which meant staying in a shelter for the duration of the trial.

“They have always wanted to go back home, to their families,” said Shiny Padiyara, a legal counsel at the Indian charity Rescue Foundation that has facilitated videoconferencing cases and runs shelters for trafficking victims. “And most never return to testify.”

But videoconferencing is making it easier to pursue justice. Survivors have given statements, identified their traffickers, and been cross examined in at least 10 other ongoing international cases in Bangladesh, advocates said.

“Enabling victims to testify via video conference will lead to a possible decrease in acquittal rates for want of prime witnesses,” said Adrian Phillips of Justice and Care, a charity that supports the use of video testimony to help secure justice.

Even then, it is tough. During Maldar’s three-hour deposition, she withstood a tough cross-examination, showed identity documents to prove her age and countered allegations by the defense lawyer that she was lying about her identity.

Students Combat Human Trafficking
Students Combat Human Trafficking, flickr

‘Unpardonable’

Tara Khokon Miya is preparing her 27-year-old daughter to testify against the men who trafficked her to India from Dhaka, where she had been working in a garment factory.

“I almost lost my daughter forever,” she said, sitting in her home in Magura, less than 50 km from Jessore, describing how she disappeared after work and was taken to a brothel in India, and raped and beaten for almost a year before being rescued.

“What the traffickers did to my daughter was unpardonable,” Miya said, wiping her tears. “We seek justice. I nurtured her in my womb and can’t describe what it felt like to not know about her whereabouts.”

The trial has been ongoing since 2013 when the young woman, who declined to be named, was repatriated. The charity Rights Jessore is helping the family through the process, by providing counseling and rehearsing cross-examination.

“The best thing is her father will be by her side when she talks in court,” Miya said, finally breaking into a smile.

India signed a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh in 2015 to ensure faster trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and with Nepal in 2017, and laid down basic procedures to encourage the use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.

“The procedure is very transparent,” said judge K M Mamun Uzzaman at Jessore courthouse, which often converts its conference hall into a courtroom for videoconferencing cases to protect survivors’ privacy.

“I’m usually present and victims are able to testify confidently … it is easy and cost effective for us,” he said. “But the biggest beneficiaries are the survivors.”

Silencing Victims
Silencing Victims, pixabay

The future

Videoconferencing in Bangladesh has been plagued by technical glitches such as power cuts and poor connections.

“Sometimes the internet connection is weak or it gets disconnected during the testimony,” said Binoy Krishna Mallick head of Rights Jessore, a pioneer in using this technology to encourage trafficking survivors to pursue justice. “But these are just teething troubles.”

The bigger challenge, activists say, is to ensure survivors remain committed to the trial despite delays caused by a backlog of cases and witnesses’ failure to appear to testify.

Swati Chauhan, one of the first judges to experiment with video testimony in 2010, is convinced that technology can eliminate many of these hurdles.

Also read: Imagining Panun Kashmir: Dissent And Detente in South Asia

“Victims go through a lot of trauma, so it is natural that they don’t want to confront their trafficker in a court — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the trafficker to be punished,” she said. “A videoconference requires meticulous planning and it is not easy coordinating between departments and countries. But it is the future for many seeking justice.” (VOA)