Two 17-year-old boys came up with a website which showcases all the Covid-19 related essential sources relevant in Mangaluru. Amol Mendonca and Adhvik Hegde from Lourdes Central School launched this portal ‘https://www.covidwarzonedk.com/’ named COVID Warzone, Mangalore. The website contains updated statistics, information on medical services, and other vital data. These class 12th Science students had this insightful idea in their summer holidays which began from May this year.
Amol Mendonca expressed, “we realised that Dakshina Kannada district lacked an easily accessible and user-friendly COVID relief database. Unlike other cities, there was not much data available online for citizens in Mangalore. We then decided to create a centralised database, containing all the emergency essentials for the city.” When the kids saw the devastating effect of the second wave on the country, they realized a need to do something. They noticed that all the other major cities had databases containing emergency resources, however there was nothing that was reliable for Mangalore. Hence, they moved on to create one. He contended that quite some time was consumed in research and data compilation. “We also had to search extensively to find doctors who were willing to volunteer. Our team helped us tremendously especially for the verification of all the data. We also had coaching classes during the day, so we worked till 3am daily,” he added.
While Adhvik and Amol built the website themselves, the team has other students named Matthew Saldanha, Raksha Naveenchandra, Andrea Rodricks and Mythili Shetty. “We spent 4-5 hours daily for around 15 days. We tried to be as efficient as possible, since our goal was to publish the website as soon as we could,” Amol mentioned. The students also received encouragement from their families. “Our family didn’t know we were working on the website until the day before the launch. They were extremely supportive of the idea and helped us with all the resources we needed. They also provided us with a lot of constructive feedback,”Amol said.
Speaking on their website, Amol held that they believe all the websites have truly helped the citizens, and respect everyone’s efforts. Nevertheless, they focused on making sure that the website was as easy to use as possible, especially for the elderly users. All the services on the website are easy to avail, which can be accessed with just one single click. They also display verified information of vaccination data as well as daily COVID-19 cases. Their website has a page dedicated to showing news from trustable sources, such as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and DHFWK (Department of Health and Family Welfare Karnataka). Gathering information from various public websites, surely the team of young talent has brought up a reliable portal. The team verifies any data before publishing it, ensuring fact-checking. In addition, Amol informed that they wish to expand and serve people in cities like Mysuru soon. They are presently working on the same, and claimed that any support from the public is appreciated.
“So far we have had over 20,000 users. The response has been great, and we have received a lot of feedback from users which we are working on implementing. We get a lot of kind messages from people who motivate us to continue working. Many of our users have also availed free consultations with our doctor, and the outcome has always been positive. We are always open to feedback and would love to hear any recommendations or suggestions,” Amol disclosed.
In conversation about their future endeavours, the 17-year-olds candidly revealed that they intend to study Computer Science in college, which would equip them with all the skills to build something similar later. “We wish to help people at a larger scale and are always looking for opportunities. We are expanding our team to make sure that we can assist more people across the state and the country,” Amol signed off.