Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Migrant labour issue get noticed in Blockathon

By Anusha Sooriyan*
When CPPR had decided to conduct ‘Blockathon for Change’, I was clueless at first. Apart from being a student with a science background in higher secondary school, I had no relation to this field. I decided to scour the internet regarding hackathons. Searching keywords like hackathon, blockathon, blockchain, etc. added fuel to an already inquisitive mind. Being an intern at CPPR, I attended the blockathon with a basic understanding of hackathons and blockchain technology.
The event was based on blockchain technology to help interstate migrant labourers. Issues faced by migrant labourers were addressed by subject matter experts, helping me realise that these migrant labourers who drift from one place to another in search of a job or a livelihood have no real count. Their identity and size is something which is a cause of concern for the state. The inflow of migrant labourers has to be monitored, and CPPR, along with start-up incubators, took this event as an opportunity to call young technocrats to come up with an application which could monitor as well as cater to the needs of migrant labourers.
During the initial briefings on blockchain, we got to know many interesting aspects of the technology, like it doesn't require middlemen such as banks, governments or any centralized authority between consumers or suppliers. This enables them to connect directly with each other and ensure the proceedings thereafter. Simultaneously, the technology is as transparent as it gets since all users in a blockchain network can view proceedings between two parties.
There were eminent speakers and dignitaries present, such as the District Collector of Ernakulam, Spokesperson of US Consulate General, Chennai, etc. who looked forward to similar collaborations that could help the migrant community as a whole.
10 teams were selected for the final phase of the hackathon to present their solutions before a jury panel comprised of experts in migration and blockchain. The Q&A sessions that followed each presentation helped us know more about the functioning of these applications. As an intern at CPPR, the hackathon gave me an idea about how new technologies can be employed for a social cause.

The hackathon envisioned a sustainable solution for migrant labourers and reaching out to the public was the primary task. We took to various social media platforms to spread the word about the hackathon and the cause behind it. By generating hashtags and sharing the event developments on social media platforms, we could draw public attention to the ‘Blockathon for a change’ campaign.

*This blog is written by Anusha Sooriyan Interning at CPPR and Pursuing Masters in Politics and International Relations. Views expressed by the author is personal and does not represent that of CPPR

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