Uma Kamat

Uma, born in USA, spent her last 15 years in India. The gap between rich and poor is evident here more than developed countries.  A compassionate person, she is attempting to contribute back to society  in many ways. 

(1)  eSymptoms.info: Easy, Illustrative & Sharable Disease Information in Native Indian Languages

Travelling through Florida in May 2015, we heard about a possible outbreak of Zika virus. A bit worried, we searched for information on internet. The authoritative sites like CDC (Center for Disease Control), WHO (World Health Organization) & NIH (National Institute of Health), while provided detailed information, it was a difficult read for a 9th Standard IB student, and only in English. 

 

So as a MYP5 personal project, I created an illustrative and easy to read brochure in English & Marathi. Here are the link for English & Marathi versions.  I titled it "Can India Stop Zika? "

We further saw this as an opportunity to create quick reference MedCards for Disease Symptoms, Prevention & General Information in multiple Indian Languages. We also wanted the MedCards to be illustrative, simple to read with  short text and shareable on mobile. ​ We showed following MedCards to a renown telemedicine expert, Dr B. S. Ratta. He thought it was a very elegant and efficient way to distribute life-saving medical information to rural Indians, as 90% of rural India today has a mobile. So, I co-founded eSymptoms in 2017 Summer with my sister, Alka Kamat, more of what we saw as necessity. 

We plan to work on 10 most common Indian and 5 mosquito vector diseases, in top 10 Indian languages in 2018. We have completed mosquito vectors diseases in Hindi (42%), Marathi (7% of population), & English (25%). In 2019, we look to work with African and Asian countries.

While we want to fund these efforts through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), we currently are boot-straping it through our pocket money and scholarships.  We want always to keep access free for farmers, maids, army and police. We envision Corporate paying for their employees through CSR. 

(2)  Teaching Basketball to Primary Kids (Catch Them Young!) Jan -Jun 2017:

Given our Basketball team building experience at MBIS, Uma & I decided to train students of our primary school on Saturday and spoke with MBIS Sport Director. She was very supportive and helped us understand that while it was a great initiative, it was also a serious commitment.

 

About 15 kids from PYP (Std 1-4) joined our Saturday classed (830-1130 AM).  We did total 20 sessions. We learnt how to plan the basic vs advanced training,  how to plan a 3 hour training session for 8-12 years old, mix it with exercises, water intervals, and how to handle and motivate kids, etc. It was particularly appreciated by the parents and sport teachers. We heard that program was continued this year, after we left the school.

(3)  Celebrating "World Thalassemia Day" at Indian Red Cross Center, Pune (May 2015, May 2016, May 2018):

Pune Red Cross Center has been celebrating the World Thalassemia Day for some time. As it falls on a family member birthday, we used to celebrate it with Red Cross. I worked with my sister Alka & Prof Kulkarni of the Red Cross to manage the painting competition for the thalassemic kids. 

(4)  Snehalaya, Pune (May 2015, May 2016):

Snehalaya is a project undertaken by the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales of Pune Province in collaboration with the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ, exclusively for the Welfare and Rehabilitation of Children with Cerebral Palsy and multiple Disabilities. I volunteered at Snehalaya on Saturdays (9-11am). 

I also helped XYZ with Cerebral Plasy to write her paper for exam.