I’m having these thoughts with the chirping of the birds in the background, the rustling of the leaves in the wind and an otherwise general sense of quiescence surrounding me. These days I’m working on the Shuddhi Vidhya app full-time. It is the first time I am building a full-stack application on my own without any external support. And I’ve had to learn a lot of things on my own for this. I am having a fantastic time with it. This is something I’ve wanted for some time. I’ve wanted to have my own platform, go after my own initiatives, take calculated risks that I alone will be held responsible for and ultimately be the autonomous driver for my own dreams. And I’m here. All of my life energies are being spent at my directive and this is freedom. And beyond freedom, it gives me a sense of joy that I am investing myself into something that no one knows of at the moment, and yet will turn into something that no one can ignore when it blossoms fully. Right now this is just a planting of the seed. When this seed grows and matures into what it is destined to be, it will offer shade to human beings in the millions.
Every revolution has small roots and a stretch of great trials and setbacks behind it. This is the small root and there is a long way to go. But it is important to describe where we are now. At the moment I am building out the registration flow on the app. This was an issue that a lot of the students had the last time we tried to get them set up on Google Classroom with their email ID. Most of these kids are 12-14 yrs old and they are being exposed to digital technology for the first ever time in their lives. And it is not just them, it is their entire family that is being introduced to it for the first time. So things like the fact that email IDs don’t have spaces in them and the fact that they ought to be spelled exactly right, just like phone numbers, is something that they find out for the first time as they attempt to follow our instructions. This is one of the main reasons why I am building the Shuddhi Vidhya app, so that we can have one platform that does everything and so that they don’t have to go to Google Classroom for courses, WhatsApp for communication and our own custom app to keep track of their scores. One of the points is to minimise the logistical complexities so that they can focus on the learning and the application of their knowledge instead of on the infrastructure that is supposed to facilitate it.
The other main reason why I’m doing this is to ensure that we are able to offer a customisable educational experience on the platform. There’s only so much we can customise when it comes to free tools like Google Classroom. A lot of what the Shuddhi Vidhya initiative is able to achieve depends on how finely we’re able to engineer the space and circumstances in which the students get to immerse in their learning experience. Of course this extends beyond the digital infrastructure. It truly relies on everything including the physical spaces they are situated in the real world. But being able to finely engineer the digital space is a great starting point.
At the moment it doesn’t appear to be in a position to be launched at the start of this 2021 academic year, which is set to begin shortly. A lot of the core modules are yet to be fully built out. Progress is happening, definitely not in line with my earlier projected timeline, which was unrealistic to begin with, but it is definitely progressing quite well given the circumstances and given the fact that this is the first time I’m doing anything like this at this scale.
I just want to take a moment to cherish the fact that such a potent machine is being built in relative anonymity and without the pressure of anyone overseeing my work from behind me. This is a beautiful moment for me to be alive and doing what I’m doing :)