There are various applications involving e-commerce portals to buy products or exchange old goods for new ones. But, currently, there is no such e-commerce innovation, targeting the backward class, that actually provides a platform to let village-women apply their self-learned skills to use & start their business. While there are several means and opportunities for urban women to earn, the rural kind is often left to struggle. We aim to expand the reach of rural heritage both locally & amongst the urban too, thus bridging the gap between societies. Why emPower NAARI - Our project is to give power to women also Naari is a Sanskrit word for a woman!
What it does
emPower NAARI is an online platform that empowers rural housewives to earn money by selling their own authentic self-made products from home & providing reliable services on the go. The website revolves around enabling women to post specific home-made products they want to sell like pottery, embroidered materials, paintings, knitted clothing, healthy home-made snacks, etc, or even services that they can provide. Clients based on their nearby locations, can view their uploaded products/services & contact them if they wish to purchase or seek services by registering their interest on the portal. The Ask Desk section enables women to ask & solve their genuine queries & get advice on social & personal concerns, hence helping them to be future-ready.
How we built it
We have implemented sentiment analysis to avoid the usage of abusive words or the spread of hate on the portal. To preserve the integrity of women, we developed an ML model for integrating the sentimental analysis feature using MeaningCloudAPI while taking inputs. To prevent exploitation of users or misuse of the application, there’s an in-built SOS feature to connect helplines in case of emergency. Our portal would also help bring back India’s deteriorating traditional artefact culture & uplift women who deserve much more success & recognition. We've also built a PWA(Progressive Web App) for easy phone accessibility. We used technologies like HTML/CSS, Bootstrap, Node.JS, MongoDB and GIT.
Challenges we ran into
Working on various high-level tech stacks was a challenging yet satisfying experience for all of us. This project allowed us to explore and work on something out of our comfort zone. We tried incorporating as many features as we could in this creation of ours, considering every use-case for our clients to get a seamless UX. We learned to enable SOS service for the guaranteed safety of users by integrating the OpenCage Geocoder API for obtaining their exact location and mapping the women's helpline numbers, which was time-consuming. The biggest hurdle was the CORS(Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) error that occurred time and again. At first, we could not identify the problem but learned the fix in the process.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
All in all, we ended up building a project that would help create a huge difference in the way of living of underprivileged women and of course, getting acquainted with some great development experience which was a bit frustrating but fruitful at the same time. After overcoming numerous hurdles, we are now much more confident as web developers and proud of being able to contribute to society efficiently.
What we learned
As we were building the PWA, working with manifest files and service workers caused caching issues as the new changes weren't being replicated immediately on the site without a hard refresh. After fixing the issue with the help of stack overflow, we learned that adding service workers should be the last step of building an application. It was a fairly new experience learning to upload multiple images on a website for the product/service gallery using the Cloudinary API since we didn't have much knowledge in that area.
What's next for emPower NAARI
- We will add direct OTT paycheck option for easy money transfer.
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