Recent Posts

India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Trick or Treat?

India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Trick or Treat?

India’s Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 that seems to be GDPR inspired promises to protect users’ personal data from getting misused.

NEM Ventures Launches  NEM Ignite virtual Incubator Programme for mentoring early-stage startups

NEM Ventures Launches NEM Ignite virtual Incubator Programme for mentoring early-stage startups

Last week, the team at NEM Ventures, the venture capital and investments arm of the NEM blockchain ecosystem launched Ignite virtual incubator program that provides financial support and mentoring for early-stage blockchain startups. The programme aims at preparing the blockchain startups for investment rounds, business…

Mr. Nikhil Kalla on India, South Africa, and the virtue of generosity

Mr. Nikhil Kalla on India, South Africa, and the virtue of generosity

Mr. Nikhil Kalla, an accountant at a South African based company made his recent trip to his hometown in India. In a brief discussion with him about his experience, he highlighted how his roots here in India matter and the family oriented culture keeps calling him. 

Mr. Kalla started out his journey in Jodhpur, Rajasthan with all the odds and peer pressure. “Being a teenager, it was at times confusing looking at the orthodox and less open mindset of the society,” he said remembering his days in his hometown. He further added, “I was lucky enough to have  parents by my side who were very open to change and encouraged me to keep on experimenting and think out of the box. But they also made sure that I stay grounded.” 

While many tend to ignore the underprivileged and beggars on the street repeatedly asking for money. Mr. Kalla believes in giving, even if it’s a rupee, it’s a daily ritual for him as he never says ‘no’ to them.

“The fact that there is still positivity, generosity and goodness in the air is what motivates everyone, I believe in that and surely you will, when you do!” he said while smiling. He further added, “Your coin might turn out to be lucky for them, you never know!”

He then talked about the development in South Africa and how drastically there’s a revolution coming with respect to raw material supply, supply chain management and overall shape of the businesses. He thinks India and South Africa are equally strong as the markets and there’s yet more to be explored! In his short trip to India he made sure to educate people around him about the precautions for COVID-19. According to him the situation is not yet bad in South Africa and people are effectively taking precautions to fight back the virus. 

There’s a little casual behavior towards the pandemic in India as per his observation. But he is still amazed with the energy and positivity around fighting the virus being together but while maintaining the distance.

IBM introduces Cloudant for Transaction Engine

IBM introduces Cloudant for Transaction Engine

This week, the team at IBM announced that they are enabling Cloudant, an elastically scalable, serverless datastore for Transaction Engine.  Introduced in 2014, this Apache backed database service has delivered scalability and availability while sacrificing some of the consistency and isolation guarantees of traditional relational…

Berkeley-based Gatsby raises $28 million in Series B funding round led by Index Ventures

Berkeley-based Gatsby raises $28 million in Series B funding round led by Index Ventures

This week, the team at Gatsby, a website development tool, announced a $28 million Series B funding round which was led by Index Ventures. CRV and Trinity Ventures also joined this funding round. The team also announced that Shardul Shah, Index Ventures Partner, joined Gatsby’s…

WaitQ: An application to assist Social Distancing!

WaitQ: An application to assist Social Distancing!

During these unprecedented times of COVID-19 and the lockdown scenario, many have tried to make the best out of the quarantine phase by increasing productivity and getting involved in hobbies. During these times, our team of 8 enthusiasts started with a goal to fight COVID-19 by helping in implementation of Social Distancing with tech. The world now and post COVID-19 will never be the same as before which means we have to abide by the golden rule of social distancing. 

We can make a difference in the COVID-19 world!

Looking at the current issue wherein it’s difficult to maintain Social Distancing and people wait in long queues, we have come with a solution to this problem with our application- WaitQ which aims to assist the implementation of Social Distancing.

The current situation has also impacted the education system, though the courses and syllabus now are online but it has taken a major toll on students’ mental health. With the constant uncertainty about the future the undergraduates do have a constant fear of their careers being impacted. But the quarantine phase is definitely the best time to build solutions for society, isn’t it? That’s exactly what we aimed for!

Ms. Amrata Joshi, CEO at Vorfreude Community and Ms. Bansari Sanghvi, Business Head at Vorfreude Community decided to form a team of undergraduates and worked with them towards building something that can have a major impact on the society and can be used for the well being of the people. Mr. Ankit Basu, Python Developer has also contributed towards building the base of the idea and further implementation. 

The tech team has done a tremendous job by working day in and day out to build WaitQ, the application that solves the issue of waiting in long queues and helps achieve the goal of Social Distancing.

During the times when everything is online, the team did manage to come together virtually as most of them haven’t personally met each other. The idea of bringing everyone together to fight for a cause and achieve way beyond that has kept the enthusiasm on even when it’s difficult to stay strong.

Introducing the Team

Raju Potharaju: The Tech Guru Indeed

Raju has contributed not just towards building the application but to the fine detailing of it and towards the innovative ideas to make sure that it works smoothly and achieves the end goal. He is a problem solver when it comes to any difficulty with regards to the project and his contribution has been flawless. 

Raju says, “Vorfreude community has added an inestimable step into my continuous learning process. Working with this community and the application is like an anticipation for something positive and thoughtful. I appreciate this place where I met a lot of talented people with a vision to learn, share and appreciate all kinds of efforts. I’m having a wonderful experience working as a Mobile Application developer for this community.”

Arth Aukhori: The Design Expert

Arth Aukhori is a Data Science student and UI/UX expert, he can effectively code in R, Java and C/C++. Experienced in Data Analysis and Data Visualization. His design sense can leave anyone awestruck, his contribution towards designing the UI for our application has been wonderful. 

Arth says, “The building of the WaitQ app (the application that solves the issue of waiting in long queues) was an amazing and educative experience and I hope that this app is able to help businesses enforce social distancing.”

Komal Swain: The Quick Learner

Komal Swain is a tech enthusiast and her love for technology has always helped her keep going! She is a quick learner and believes that learning is an amazing art and a never ending process. Her contribution to the application has been amazing, she has been super innovative and patient throughout the development phase.

Komal says, “Vorfreude Community has and is playing a very significant role in boosting up my skills. I truly consider this place as a boon to my learning process, reaching out to people and having an amazing flow of knowledge. Having a great experience working on the WaitQ application and learning, sharing and creating with such a team of talented individuals.”

Amisha Chachad: The Creative One!

Amisha Chachad is a developer and digital marketing enthusiast, she has contributed towards strategizing the marketing plan and equally managed to work on the application. Her efforts towards doing something out of box has motivated us too!  

Amisha says, “I’m thankful to the Vorfreude Community for giving me the opportunity to be part of a team that strives for perfection and believes in the process of learning. Working with the Vorfreude Community has helped me to gain a new perspective that when each one of us shares a common vision, nothing is impossible. I strongly believe, WaitQ will help each one of us in a fight against COVID-19.”

Mohammed Zeeshan Jagirdar: The Powerful Researcher!

Mohammed Zeeshan Jagirdar is a developer and a great addition to the team, he handles the problem statements easily. His thorough research and dedication towards achieving the end goal is something that is appreciated by the entire team. He is a sketch artist, tech enthusiast and a blogger too!

Zeeshan says, “WaitQ was an idea that came into picture during the lockdown, knowing how crucial queuing problems can be, it feels good when you develop something which will benefit society, not society but also myself. WaitQ has given me an opportunity to learn, explore and understand my niche, also to know my teammates, learn new technology which was new to me!”

Muaaz Patel: The Digital Marketing Enthusiast

Muaaz Patel is a digital marketing enthusiast who has contributed towards strategizing ideas and building the marketing base.

Muaaz says, “It has been an amazing experience and has helped me in the learning process. When each one of us shares a common vision, nothing is impossible! I believe, with WaitQ we will achieve the goal of implementing Social Distancing!”

Susan Younger, Louisiana’s healthcare worker’s story on fighting COVID-19

Susan Younger, Louisiana’s healthcare worker’s story on fighting COVID-19

Miss. Susan Younger, a 55 years old home healthcare worker in Louisiana, USA still continues to work amidst the COVID-19 havoc. Her work involves taking care of elderly and disabled patients by going to their houses and helping them.  While talking about the precautionary measures…

The pandemic is going to kill more than just humans

The pandemic is going to kill more than just humans

The ongoing pandemic has taken over the world and brought every country, large and small, to a standstill in a manner that is unforeseen. Even the mightiest of nations, individuals and organizations seem to be crumbling before the threat of this invisible agent of misfortune.…

Mr. Santosh Pradhan, ICT Research Scholar talks about types of coronaviruses, myths, projects to fight COVID-19 and much more!

Mr. Santosh Pradhan, ICT Research Scholar talks about types of coronaviruses, myths, projects to fight COVID-19 and much more!

Mr. Santosh Prandhan, a Ph.D. Research Scholar (Biochemistry) from ICT Mumbai and a consultant to Life Sciences, Food and Beverage industries share an interesting insight on COVID-19, research, and myths around it. To start with he first gave a brief about the novel COVID-19 infection, he explains that CoVID-19 comes under the family coronaviridae, single-stranded RNA virus of around 25-32 kilobase in length and they mainly cause respiratory illness of varying severity including the common cold and fatal pneumonia. 

7 types of coronaviruses are present

Mr. Pradhan said, If we look at the history, numerous coronaviruses are known which were first discovered in poultry in the 1930 which was known to cause respiratory and neurological disease. There are 7 different types of corona viruses known to cause diseases in humans. 4 of 7 coronaviruses (229E, OC43, NL63 and HUK1) known to cause common cold and rarely respiratory tract infection, pneumonia and can occur in infants, older people and immunocompromised people. According to him, 3 of 7 coronaviruses (SARS-CoV2, MERS, SARS-CoV) cause much more severe and fatal respiratory infection.

Mr. Pradhan along with ICT Mumbai team, Reaxycare bio solution are working on developing a cost-effective diagnostic kit for COVID-19

While highlighting the diagnostic procedure for COVID-19, Mr. Pradhan explained that currently, the protocol that is being used for diagnosis of COVID-19 is RT-PCR (Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction) of lower and upper respiratory secretion. And apart from RT-PCR, ELISA and Chest X-Ray are also used for the diagnosis.  

He said, “We at ICT, Mumbai are working on development of a cost effective diagnostic model which can help us to detect the CoVID-19 on site within an hour and doesn’t require any sophisticated instrument.” He further added that a team from ICT Mumbai in collaboration with Lasa supergenerics is also working on the effectiveness of antiviral drug Favipiravir against COVID-19.

Thoughts on the recurrence of COVID-19

When asked about the recurrence of the deadly virus infection once cured, he explained that whenever a virus infects a person, the human body’s immune system produces antibodies that work against epitopes on the virus and a subset of these antibodies can help prevent the virus infection with neutralization process. That’s the reason why we see a person get automatically cured after a few days of incubation.

He further added, “Similarly, in CoVID, 80% of the people get cured automatically and death rate is around 4%. Now once the person get cured from infection, memory cells are generated and when the person comes in contact with a similar virus again, the probability of severity is less.”

Other projects Mr. Pradhan is working on

Mr. Pradhan is also writing a research paper and thesis on ‘’Aflatoxin detection and mitigation strategies” where he has worked on various molecular biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, analytical techniques. He has extensively worked on techniques like Gene expression, Chromatographic purification, and analysis techniques, Antimicrobial techniques, Elisa Development for Aflatoxin detection, Metabolomics studies. He is actively working on Microbial pigments, Smart textiles, Upstream and downstream processing, Enzyme development strategies, preservative-free drinks, and foods.

Myths around COVID-19

According to Mr. Pradhan, there are a lot of myths and hoax stories being shared online on various social media platforms including whatsapp, Tiktok, Instagram as information might be uploaded by someone who might not even have an expertise in that field. Here is a list of myths around COVID-19:

  • Coronavirus is ball-shaped and size is in mm and can be seen with the naked eyes

According to him, the virus cannot be in ‘mm’ and the smallest virus are the parvovirus family having a size of around 20nm while Ebola is one of the biggest virus (with respect to size), which was a major outbreak during 2013-2016 in the western African region.

  • Taking a hot bath will prevent disease

According to him, this doesn’t help as human body temperature is 36 ºC to 37ºC and using more hot water can actually end up burning the skin.

  • Coronavirus can be transmitted through mosquito bite

Till date there is no evidence that mosquito bite can spread the disease, it is mainly spread by respiratory secretion.

  • Hand dryers are effective in killing CoVID- viruses

No, hand dryers cannot kill the COVID-19 virus hence frequent cleaning hands with alcohol-based sanitizer is important.

  • UV light can be used to kill the viruses

Yes, UV rays can kill the virus but it cannot be used for therapy on the human body as it can cause skin irritation and cancer.

  • Thermal scanners can detect infection

No, thermal scanners are used to check fever, however, an infectious person in the early stage may not have a fever and can give a false-negative result, however a person with fever may show a false positive report for CoVID-19. So thermal scanners are only used to check the probable infected person and it is not a confirmatory test.

  • Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body or clothes can kill Coronavirus

No, CoVID-19 is a respiratory infection where it infects the upper and lower respiratory tract hence spraying alcohol on the body surface and clothes will not cure or kill the virus, in fact spraying such substance can be harmful on the skin, and mucous membrane.

  • The vaccine against pneumonia can protect you from corona

No, vaccines against pneumonia do not protect from the coronavirus.

  • Only older people are affected and killed by the coronavirus

People of all ages can get infected by corona however people with old age and the ones who are immunocompromised are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

To conclude with, he has a small piece of advice for the readers, “With respect to CoVID. I would say Don’t panic, stop forwarding any information without checking its authenticity, take precautionary action aired on authenticate sites like ICMR, CDC, WHO, FDA. If found any symptoms, please get it diagnosed not necessary it will be CoVID-19. It could be a normal flu also and remember more than 80% chances are there that it will be cured automatically by taking supportive care. Finally I would say stay indoors in this emergency and keep yourself updated with authentic information and most important this is the best time to give yourself time.”

Joshua Ovalles’ take on fight against COVID-19, Social Distancing in Miami and work life amidst the chaos

Joshua Ovalles’ take on fight against COVID-19, Social Distancing in Miami and work life amidst the chaos

Joshua Ovalles, a writer, and poet at Vorfreude Community, a Security Supervisor in Miami has an interesting side to his life. Being a 22-year old, he still manages to work amidst the COVID-19 chaos going around the world. He makes sure that the floors are…