Gurgaon-based Arhan Bagati (16) is the latest teen to join the brigade of precocious app ideators mushrooming countrywide. Supported by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), Arhan has conceptualised and helped develop ‘inRio’, a free app which can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices, to ensure better manoeuvrability and quality of life for para-athletes preparing to represent India at the Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Paralympic Games 2016 this September.
The app is designed to provide differently abled sportspersons vital information about diet/nutrition, gyms and sports complexes, and a list of people to contact in emergencies in Rio. The app also incorporates a detailed roadmap of Rio, a language translator, and an exhaustive list of restaurants, museums and hot spots.
The only child of Tapesh Bagati, a businessman, and homemaker Anu, this class XI student of the IBO (Geneva)-affiliated Shri Ram School, Moulsari (Gurgaon), is elated by the attention being showered on him ever since inRio was launched five months ago.
“Being a state-level athlete myself, I have deeply admired the grit of para-athletes who despite receiving scant government and social support lift themselves up to succeed against near-impossible odds. My association with the Paralympic Committee of India dates back to 2014 when I signed up to participate in its Sports for Development run. Since then, I have been an enthusiastic PCI volunteer,” says Arhan.
The app was conceptualised early last year soon after Arhan finished his class X board exams. “With time on my hands, I started shortlisting companies known to fund social initiatives. With some help from my father, I made a presentation and shared it with senior managers of several corporates. Luckily, my idea struck a chord with Boeing, Educomp, ITC hotels and Audi, Gurgaon whose managers not only offered financial but technical and advisory support as well. The funding enabled me to hire the services of Questionmark Communications to develop and code the app,” he recalls.
Currently a humanities student intent on enrolling in a liberal arts degree programme after completing his higher secondary studies, Arhan is an ardent believer in the power and potential of new technologies. “IT can help resolve many of the complex development problems confronting the nation. I also believe the success I’ve had with developing apps for differently abled sportspersons and lay citizens can be replicated by home-grown engineers in all walks of life. All that’s required is will power and a problem-solving mindset,” says this idealistic teen.
Way to go, bro!
Autar Nehru (Delhi)