Inspiration

Where our team comes from, there are a lot of places where there is no Internet but there the telephone service is prominent. The people in these areas are thus deprived of information that they could and should be getting. This is a small effort for helping such people connect with the outer world. It is a platform for connecting people in urban areas with these people, facilitating exchange of information.

What it does

Any individual who needs information sends a text message to the number associated with the application. This query is then posted on a feed where a verified user , after logging in, can provide the answers on the feed. The reply is sent back to the person who sent the original text.

How we built it

We used the Twilio api for receiving and sending texts. The app is written in python with Flask used as the framework, and is deployed on Heroku. We used PostgreSQL as the database. Front-end is plain html, css and javascript.

Challenges we ran into

All of us were fairly new to the tools and apis that we used, so it took us more time to be familiar with everything. Plus, none of us were adept at front-end so yes, the site looks primitive. :v

What's next for Helping Hands

For now the replies are only from human users. We could use AI to generate automated replies for simple enough questions and frequently asked questions. Likewise, we could provide automated tags for these questions so that they can be categorized.

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