Dubai: A 17-year-old Indian expatriate studying in Jumeirah College has teamed up with his younger sibling to launch a savings calculator and a comic series based on economic and market trends for the benefit of students and blue collar workers in the UAE.
The savings calculator app, called Cash Cash, helps an individual keep track of his or her funds, aiding one to not only account for the expenses but also help understand how much can be saved. The comic series, ‘eCOnoMICs’, is an economics-based concept developed to provide a better understanding through a simplistic and illustrative format. The bilingual comic series in Hindi and English is already being distributed to workers across labour camps in UAE.
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Varun Mittal, a Year 13 student at Jumeirah College, and his younger brother, Aman, a Year 11 student at the same school, have created the app and the comic series. They have launched the two under a social enterprise platform called SOCRISE, (www.socrise.org).
“I am passionate about economics and also recognise my privileged position in society. But everyone is not as blessed or as lucky as I am. But it is still everybody’s right to have a better and good life. I used the two concepts to drive a message to young students and workers in UAE to help them learn how to save so it will leave them financially independent.”
Talking about the savings calculator, Varun said, the intention behind launching the app was to build financial and economic literacy through this platform.
“It is primarily meant for the labour community and aims to help improve their financial knowledge. The app takes inflation and wage growth into account to give a more accurate timeframe for how long it would take. Allowing blue-collared workers to better manage their finances,” explained Varun.
“The idea for the app came about when I overheard a conversation between two school support staff members about how they were struggling to calculate their savings when taking every expense into account. I then developed an algorithm and presented this to the same employee, and he found it to be a useful tool. Following this, we hired a group of developers and began developing the app.”
For the record, the app has been developed in multiple languages for easy use and understanding.
Economics through eCOnoMICs
An economics-based comic series, eCOnoMICs was developed to provide a better understanding of finances through a simplistic and illustrative format. Using relatable characters, fun storytelling techniques and witty dialogues, the comic series explains complex concepts of economics in an easy, fun and entertaining way. Varun — the creator and content writer for this comic series — said he always had a passion for economics and loved his comic books. Much like the proverbial apple, one day it suddenly struck him that if complex concepts of economics could be explained through a comic series then students and blue-collar workers in the UAE would enjoy the subject and understand it better. “That led me to develop eCOnoMICs,” he said.
Aman, who is the content designer for the comic series, said he helped bring the comic series to life by adding fun elements and humour to the story, putting together the story board and designing the illustrations. “We focus on establishing a fundamental and basic knowledge of economics and through it, arm individuals with the knowledge needed to understand concepts of economics. The series is designed to mimic TV shows with ‘Seasons’ and ‘Episodes’,” Varun explained.
The boys’ father, Arjun Mittal, a banker based in the UAE, and mother Nidhi, an events consultant and organiser, are equally elated with their sons’ hard work to bring a positive change to the community. “We feel we have done well to raise them. It is important that children live not just for themselves, but for the community as a whole.”