Mehta’s venture connects the West with India’s NGOs

codeforindia .org may be the answer to alleviate poverty

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Karl Mehta, ever on the hunt for ways to use the latest technology to solve the world’s most pressing social issues, has founded his next venture: codeforindia.org.

The idea behind Mehta’s new site is to create a way for software engineers and programmers in the west to communicate with social workers and non-profits in India, so that the two can pool their resources to battle India’s increasing poverty rates and improve the country’s social infrastructure.

In a statement released by Mehta following the launch of codeforindia.org, he said “the reality is [that] there are millions of NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) who have good [intentions] and [are] doing good work, but have a very poor understanding of technology and lack the resources. That’s part of the reason we have many NGOs but very few operating at [a large] scale.”

Hundreds of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) software developers have applied to be a part of the site, and two apps have already been created through partnerships made via codeforindia.org. One of these apps is adopt-a-school, which enables users to make donations and support local schools in India.

Mehta is a Venture Partner at Menlo Ventures, and the founder of Grassroots Innovation Network. In 2006, he co-founded PlaySpan.

Last year, he helped create ways with technology for people to support, donate, or otherwise help the effort to rebuild parts of New York and New Jersey in the wake of the devastation left by storm Sandy, for which he was a liaison with the White House and other federal agencies such as FEMA. He has also been chosen as a White House Presidential Innovation fellow by the Obama administration.

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

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