Moment of Pride – An interview with Shruti Kakar

Shruti Kakar

Here’s a talk with a brilliant 18 year old girl from New Delhi, who had the intention to make differently abled children’s’ life better through an app “WE CAN EXPRESS”, where children suffering from autism spectrum disorder can interact and communicate easily just like everyone else. This talk takes you through her journey alongside “We can express”  and  thoughts of Shruti on different aspects of life. We are proud of Shruti who was a student of CodingZen who turned out as a gem!

CodingZen: What is “We can Express” and how does it work?

Shruti: It is an app which provides a platform for the users to communicate and build their confidence. It has user friendly options, users have unique images and voice support for easier communication, these features are specially made for differently abled communities. The way of expression in the app is different from the spoken language so it helps them to get connected in a satisfactory manner and could share messages, texts they created through images via WhatsApp messenger. I am working on additional features for the app, visual schedules basically like a remainder but a better version of it.

we can express

CodingZen: What or who is the inspiration behind “WE CAN EXPRESS”?

Shruti: I was sitting in my mother’s office one evening and she was treating a patient who I happened to meet. I was intrigued by his confidence and attitude towards life. I later learnt that he was from the ASD community. It was the first time that I actually interacted with someone who was approximately the same age as me and had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This small interaction compelled me to research and learn more about his disability. I wondered how life would be from the point of view of people who have special needs. Reading about their stories, and their positive attitude towards life, I too wanted to learn how they manage to stay mentally healthy when everything around them feels chaotic. This urged me to meet more people, see their lifestyle and learn from their experiences, which is why I went to the Inclusive Education Centre in my school, where I was assigned as a mentor to Naitik. After volunteering and mentoring at the inclusive education centre at Springdales School, I got a better insight into the lives of people in the ASD community and made an app that bridges the gap of communication faced by many.

CodingZen: What was the initial response you received when you launched the mobile app?

Shruti: I pilot tested the application at my school’s center with 5 people who showed a positive change, it bridged the gap between communication as it was a more digital way of communication through pictures. That’s when I decided to launch it commercially and leased it out to Seutara Pvt. Ltd. My parents were obviously proud of me as always, supported and encouraged me in every possible way.

we can express

 

CodingZen: How do you plan your work and what do you do in your free time?

Shruti: I try to follow a strict time table, I have six slots to do different things like coding and stuff related to academics. When I stick to my schedule I can easily manage both academics and I can give time on the app. In my free time, I just spend time with my family, sit, talk and relax and that’s precious.

CodingZen: According to you, how important is it to have a goal in life?

Shruti: I feel having a goal in life is very much important, t can be small goals which are achievable. When you have a goal you will have something to look up to and that gives you a little bit of success which you have actually done and these small goals lead you to bigger ones.

CodingZen: Who is your role model and what values do you get from him/her?

Shruti: I look unto tech geniuses like Elon Musk, his achievements and passion he has to achieve his goals inspires me and also my father who keeps motivating me and encourages me to do the things I love.

CodingZen: What qualities of yours do you consider as your strengths?

Shruti: It would be my determination to complete or achieve something that I want to achieve. To actually put the effort and hard work.

CodingZen: What are your future plans and currently what are you working on?

Shruti: My future goals would be to study further in app development and I plan to work in the Artificial Intelligence arena and get myself involved in the AI projects when I grow up and certainly CodingZen has given me a boost to start coding.

shruti

 

CodingZen: Some say AI would potentially be a threat to mankind in coming days, any thoughts on that?

Shruti: Yes, some say that but I feel the opposite way because AI can amplify many projects, business and everything we do now to the next level and the algorithms that are driven by AI could help us in many fields.

CodingZen: Do you have a habit of reading books and which is your favourite book?

Shruti: It’s tough to take time out to read when you are so consumed with academics and stuff related to my app but I try to make time for reading and I have read so many books. Recently, I read a book “Outliers”, written by Malcolm Gladwell. It was inspiring and I really liked the way he explained how different leaders of the world have achieved because of the opportunities they made use of.

CodingZen: Share your experience at CodingZen and how it helped you?

Shruti: CodingZen gave me great exposure to the world of programming and taught me the basics that built a good foundation for me to advanced programming languages. The teachers at CodingZen gave me a personalised teaching experience. The cohesive learning experience that CodingZen gives each of its students is the best thing. The teachers are experts in what they teach and are very approachable. CodingZen has been instrumental in initially starting with my project in 2018. I had developed many applications prior to “We Can Express” with CodingZen’s help. I was confident about my ability to code and found myself discovering various resources for advanced coding.

CodingZen: Can anybody learn coding? Is it easy or difficult?

Shruti: Coding is not that tough, we have got many resources available online that could teach you small concepts like block coding where you can learn how to use logic. Thereafter you could learn high level programming languages which is not tough after you learn syntaxes and all. I feel this is the skill everybody should have because in the coming years everything is going to be digital and coding will be a super important aspect of everyone’s life. It’s not only kids who can learn coding, anybody who is interested to learn coding can easily learn. Check out our blog “4 W’s of Coding” to understand what is coding, why coding, where coding started and who can learn coding.

shruti

CodingZen: Any tips for your juniors who want to learn coding?

Shruti: Try working on projects and something you really love and give your best because if you follow your passion you would realize that you are enjoying what you are doing. Happiness is the greatest thing you could have in the world so “Do what you love”.

Wow! The talk with Shruti was amazing. There are so many inputs to inculcate and practice. We are proud of our student and the achievement she has made till date, we wish her good luck and we will be sharing the milestones and achievements of our students on upcoming blogs.