The COVID-19 crisis has created an array of problems for everyone - losing jobs, temporary unpaid leaves, and city lockdown curbing a lot of people from their jobs that revolve around getting out of their houses. This scenario has extremely affected people around the world who work for daily wages rendering them incapable to meet their daily ends. Connect aims to help daily wage workers find alternative ways to make money during the crisis.

What it does

The aim of the platform, Connect is to empower people who earn their income on a day to day basis by providing them access to jobs that might be in high demand, in their skillset and in their neighborhood restricting the travel and reducing the risk of spread.

Connect is a secure web platform where ‘people seeking alternative sources of income’ ( let’s call them job seekers) can login and find an interactive map of neighborhood to-do errands/jobs available. The jobs available are populated by job posters who are in need of services of carpenters, plumbers and so on.

If a job seeker couldn’t find a job at a particular time, he/she could post their task/service offerings via a form. A curated list of the services is made available to the job posters within his radius, made more intuitive with the interactive map. The job poster can use the service popup on the map to request for a particular service.

How we built it

The backend is built with Fastapi (Asynchronous python framework) with Postgres alongside PostGIS (Geospatial module) for data persistence. We wanted to ensure the scalability and reliability of the product rather than just making a prototype.

Coming to the frontend, it is built using Figma for UX and ReactJS integrated with interactive Google maps for the UI of the web app. The choice of React is done, as the web app made can be ported to mobile platforms (both Android and IOS), enabling a wide audience to adopt our application.

Challenges we ran into

We brainstormed and had a great challenge to design the worker flow - 'how to ensure safety by collecting government documents?' and 'how to store them securely?'

As we focused on building the idea into a scalable and reliable platform, we have spent more time in development and hence struggled to find time with our presentation and final video demo.

What's next for Connect

  1. Connecting with Industry Leaders/ Strategists who can direct and help with networking to promote the reach of the application.
  2. Adding safety measures. To ensure the safety of both workers and 'who seeks service' from infection, we plan to build a model that predicts if work is safe or not. We have thought of a few signs to base the model ( yet to be brainstormed ). The following are the signs: a. After a service, ask both parties (worker and who sought service) if the other party seems to be infected. b. Option for the workers to intimate that he was positive for COVID-19, enabling us to warn the houses visited by the worker and urge them to take the test. And vice-versa case, if one who requested service is tested positive, notify all the workers who have visited his house. c. Future, integrate with corona contact detect app ( many people/organizations have developed the app using Bluetooth technology. A link to more reliable one - BBC News - Coronavirus: Apple and Google team up to contact trace COVID-19
  3. Apart from the 'job seekers', we plan to introduce a new class of entities ( Local Suppliers like groceries, essentials ) into the picture. Similar to helping job seekers connect with people in the neighborhood for job/errands; we enable the local suppliers to connect with the needs of people. Also, the local suppliers will benefit from knowing the demand in their neighborhood providing them ways to do business efficiently by selling the stuff in demand.

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