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An engineer duo is making online education accessible to the hearing-impaired children

An engineer duo is making online education accessible to the hearing-impaired children

The global pandemic deprived physically impaired children of education. Amanpreet Chopra and Prabodh Mahajan joined hands to build a dedicated Edtech platform – Resonate. Resonate is India’s first digital, games-based, AI-enabled, teaching-learning platform for the aurally challenged.

Amanpreet Chopra and Prabodh Mahajan built Resonate- India’s first, AI-enabled, teaching-learning platform for the aurally challenged.

The onslaught of the pandemic has deprived many of the most basic human needs, including lack of access and availability of resources. It has boosted the increasing need and demand for online education or EdTech. However, the demand remains unfulfilled due to owing to poverty, lack of access and connectivity. The going gets tougher for those who are physically impaired. Meet Amanpreet Chopra and Prabodh Mahajan, the Co-Founder, CEO and the Co-Founder, COO of Learn & Empower, respectively, who decided to bridge the gap by building a dedicated EdTech platform, ‘Resonate.’

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The beginning of Learn & Empower 

Prabodh, 22, is an engineering graduate from GHRCE, Nagpur. He was like any other boy-next-door, a fervent technology aficionado, who preferred to take up engineering. Amanpreet, 24, is an alumnus of Birla Vishwakarma Mahavidyalaya, with a burgeoning passion for technology and innovation. They met at Digital Impact Square, a TCS Foundation Initiative, where Amanpreet and Prabodh were Innovation Interns. They had their hands on a project that involved education research. It gave them a chance to interact with students from various fields. These interactions made them realise that people hardly thought over the lack of accessible education to hearing-impaired children.

Learn and Empower, as Amanpreet says, was a mission he harboured to make use of their expertise in technology to serve a cause and began research and backstage work. It was unequivocally a hard row to hoe, Prabodh agrees since they faced several challenges. An engineering graduate is often expected to toe the line of joining an MNC to ensure job security. The duo had to brace up for bouts of doubts and shortcomings. Being obstinate individuals, they decided to pursue their dream, which led to the birth of Learn and Empower. 

Early formation of ‘Resonate’

And as the pandemic set in, Amanpreet recalls, they had their phones abuzz, with parents and teachers seeking ideas for teaching their hearing-impaired wards. The budding team burnt the midnight oil to build an E-platform to help deaf children study online. They worked on making it multi-lingual for India, being a melting pot of cultures and home to many languages. They went a mile ahead to ensure delivering them in the respective Sign Language. 

Resonate is India’s first digital, games-based, AI-enabled, teaching-learning platform for the aurally challenged.

The duo roped in-field experts like Mr Sameer Rawal, (Social Innovation Evangelist from TCS) who helped them structure their process, set metrics and design thinking process. Ms Shubhada Burde, (Director, Central Society for the Education of the Deaf, Mumbai) guided them in curriculum planning, content validation and understanding the needs of the user. Learn and Empower has now become one of the startups incubated by NASSCOM under its 10000 Startups Initiative, Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council. 

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The Green Signal – Impact Generated

A surge in registrations during the pandemic was a green signal for Amanpreet and Prabodh. To Amanpreet, sprinting from a meagre 100 to a whopping 500 was an evocative moment. Prabodh shares that there was an instance where a teacher said that the kids could digest a hard concept that took 3 hours in just 35 mins. Currently, Resonate is India’s first digital, games-based, AI-enabled, teaching-learning platform for the aurally challenged. Multiplying their learning 4 to 5 times faster and better. The team has also introduced the concept of offline learning, which would hugely benefit the hearing challenges from rural communities. Resonate also has tools for parents and teachers to access and assess the performance of their wards and keep track of them. 

Winning Young Innovators Challenge Award 

The team won 3M’s Young Innovators Challenge Award 2021 in Service Innovation for Impact category. Prabodh shares, “It is a great feeling and is certainly a morale booster to not just us, but our entire team. Epecially because they recognised our impact.” The duo wants to leave no stone unturned to further their goal. They wish to build the world’s most accessible teaching-learning ecosystem where everyone can learn. 

Amanpreet shares, “Starting something isn’t easy, but it is not impossible. Believing in collaboration is more pertinent to entrepreneurs who are focusing on differently-abled children. One needs to keep in mind that specific things need to be delivered and they need to be tailored to meet the needs of the kids. Prabodh punches in an inspirational one, “To, young entrepreneurs, I’d say, take risks, make plans and diligently work on them. I think EdTech entrepreneurs need to focus on ensuring accessibility and equitable access to all. Make it happen, keep trying harder, no matter what, even if you fail, chase your dreams!”

 

Also Read: Assam professor develops a filter that removes toxic elements from drinking water at 1paisa/litre.

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