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Karan Soin’s Sudhaar se Udhaar

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on September 29, 2020 Published on September 28, 2020

Karan Soin

With Coding a buzz word amongst software companies, firms are trying to woo school goers to enroll in such courses. And building on this trend, the government has been holding national level competitions.

One such winner was Karan Soin, a 17-year-old class-XI student of Shri Ram School, Gurugram. He has won the second prize (the top prize this year) at the CSIR Innovation Award for School Children-2020, for his mobile app ‘Sudhaar — improvement.

The app will provide farmers easy access to small loans and is aimed at improving rural lives through udhaar or loans.

Soin has been coding for the past three years or so, learning mostly by himself in his school’s computer lab. Hence, developing the app was not a tough job for him. He has even developed a web page for his school’s online elections to elect the student council.

“I have been doing stuff for myself for about three years. I learnt the basics during my class IX and X as I took Computer Science then and during some summer courses. That’s how I learnt coding,” Soin told BusinessLine in a telephonic interview.

Why Sudhaar

Soin, who lives in Gurugram, has been visiting the neighbourhood villages and has initiated ‘DigIndia’ to train the digitally illiterate, for almost the last four years.

During his visits he realised that the common problem these villagers faced was uncertainty in getting loans. “The villagers were also not clear for what purpose they want the loan for -- whether it is for tractor, livestocks or for starting a small business -- so all that confusion and lack of access as such to the multiple options led to the idea of me thinking of developing Sudhaar,” Soin explained.

Even though there are many microfinance companies in-and-around the Delhi-NCR, villagers were not aware of them or don’t know how to approach them.

Through Sudhaar app, people in rural areas can seek small loans (microfinance from ₹20,000 to ₹50,000) and get access to multiple reputable microfinance institutions (MFIs) in their vicinity so they can choose the most suitable lender.

“It is an on-boarding platform in which the borrower contacts the MFI rather than the other way around. This gives them, especially women (since they are the borrowers in most MF systems) with access to loans,” Soin said.

He was among 14 students who won prizes for their ingenious innovations from States across India including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, New Delhi and Kerala.

On his plans, Soin said he will go abroad for further studies, to master Computer Science, but he will continue his initiatives for rural development.

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Published on September 28, 2020
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