Call them geeks, techies or whatever you feel like. The truth is that for most IT professionals their world revolves around the computer. But then there’s more to the story. Many of these professionals use their skills to make a difference to o ther’s life. And recognition of this effort is Heroes Happen Here, a programme for the IT community in India launched by Microsoft, which showcases their achievements beyond work.
With nearly 900 entries already registered on the website, the competition to find the top 10 stories is getting tougher. While three winners will be eligible for a fully-paid trip to Microsoft Headquarters at Redmond, Seattle, all the 10 winners will receive a Dell Laptop each.
So what does it take to become a hero? Well, you should have shown the willingness to go beyond the call of duty and used any version of Microsoft’s products to fulfil it. Take the example of Noel Sequeira, a third year engineering student at Vivekananda Educational Society’s Institute of Engineering, Mumbai. Along with his doctor friends, Noel decided to create the website, www.mumbaiblooddonors.org, with the aim of creating a directory of volunteer blood donors who can be contacted in time of need. He says, “The idea stemmed from an incident when a friend required blood for a platelet transfusion but couldn’t get blood from the bank because he couldn’t find a replacement donor. Later we came to know that 500 to 800 people need blood everyday, we wanted to find a solution. I was the only one with web skills.”
On the other hand, Yamini Arora, manager with a telecom firm in Pune, wanted to make everyone’s life in office easy by creating an intranet system to fill forms, an idea that came after she was fed up of filling the same HR feedback form repeatedly. How many of us can boast having created a graduation project that can actually help someone? Pursuing his M. Tech at IIIT Gwalior, Mayur Gupta developed a regional language voice enquiry system for Indian farmers. “It will provide farmers with pricing details, medical, educational and local news over the internet through speech recognition. Successful experiments have already been done in Hindi and Telugu. We are in talks with villagers to implement it at the ground level,” he explains.
Says Pallavi Kathuria, Director, server business group, Microsoft India, “Over the last few years, we have seen that technology experts have evolved from being mere facilitators to frontline business contributors. Heroes Happen Here is our way of acknowledging their work.”