MRIDUL MANAS INDIA, 17
Basic Human Needs: Education, Health
Growing up in India, Mridul saw firsthand how the lack of information from the medical community impacted the health of people living in the country’s slums. Mridul launched MeraSMS, a unique, cloud-based platform to bridge the gap between mothers in the slums of Delhi and quality maternal care. MeraSMS delivers medically approved reminders, facilitates access to clinics and provides assistance to join the government’s maternal care welfare program. In the wake of the Indian demonetization in 2016, rumors that citizens without bank accounts would not be able to exchange their currency caused panic in the slums. Even though procedures had been put in place for slum dwellers, many of them were not informed, resulting in some taking their own lives. Mridul expanded MeraSMS services to include specialized financial literacy support. By the end of the demonetization period, the MeraSMS had assisted 400+ slum households to secure their finances. To date, MeraSMS has provided maternal and financial support to more than 2,000 families in 120 Indian slums, and additionally connected families in those slums to free education and healthcare opportunities. MeraSMS has also expanded into refugee settlements in New Delhi, neighboring parts of North India, and Swaziland, where the lack of information exacerbates residents’ fight for basic needs. MeraSMS collects real-time data to identify, monitor and deliver individual humanitarian needs through a crowd-mapping platform and empowers refugees to request their specific needs. Mridul plans to expand MeraSMS into more refugee camps and slum areas worldwide.