The Notorious ban on Social media in Kashmir couldn’t hold back people from finding pragmatic ways to keep connected to the virtual world.
Meet the Kashmiri duo – Suhaib and Sahir – both in their early twenties, who developed a mobile app that keeps Kashmir connected in times of virtual lock down.
Learn Marvel, an app that connects it’s users to committees based on their specific interests.
“Initially we wanted to develop a platform where people could connect to the online communities based on their interests,” says 21-year-old Suhaib Rashid who studies engineering from NIT Srinagar.
The idea of creating community-specified social media platform came to the duo when they were researching on a subject and found many random posts showing up when they meant to look for something else. “Like Quora, we wanted to create something where free flow of information takes place,” Suhaib says. “But, at the same time we wanted the user of our app to get rid of the random post that doesn’t interest them. So we organised our app in order so that a user can join a particular group of his interest be it science, arts, music or anything and the information the groups would be specified.”
But with government imposing ban on social networking websites in Kashmir. Suhaib and Sahir worked together to provide an alternative to the people.
“Learn Marvel was basically intended to let people share useful information on specific issues and subjects but later we added another feature to it – Direct messages – that could somehow compensate for the social media ban,” Suhaib says.
Sahir after completing his graduation, set to prepare for UPSC in Delhi, but as luck would have it, he turned to computer programming instead. During this tenure he became friends with different developers, some of them working as freelancers.
“It was Sahir who motivated and inspired me to lead this project. Both of us worked to develop this idea, creating an app with a parallel platform in instagram @learn.marvel, managed by some other admins”, says Suhaib.
With Learn Marvel app a new era of positive social networking is redefined, of course first of its kind.
Development of this app was not as easy as it may seem. “We have had to rework on our idea several times.”
When the app was finally put up on play store, the number of downloads, during first week, was several times more than what we had anticipated.
“We are still working to add more features to the app. We will also add blogging and make it a multi purpose social app,” he says.