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Dev Vohra with Srishti Sarkar: Reaching out where it matters Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Some UAE students are going out of their comfort zones to make a difference to the community. Whether helping people of determination or assisting students with finding their dream jobs, they want to use their skills and strengths to benefit others.

Website for person of determination

Dev Vohra, 15, studying in Grade 10 of Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS), has for instance developed a full-fledged website for a young person of determination, Srishti Sarkar (10 years), to sell her art pieces online.

“I came to know about the very talented Srishti who is a student of Al Noor. Srishti has taken to art and that is her way of expressing herself. I had a look at her work and I was very impressed. I converted her pictures to online pieces, using my computer science skills, I created the website, an online marketplace for people to view and purchase her art, whether physical or digital copies,” said Vohra.


Sagarika, Srishti’s mother, said: “We met Dev through a mutual friend. He has been such a blessing. He has taken so much interest in Srishti’s work. Srishti started painting at an early age of three. Initially, she painted on walls and floor, later moved to paper and canvas. It started naturally as a way to express herself.”

Srishti chooses her subjects from everything she sees around her, including animation characters. She then comes up with something unique every time. “Painting is her primary medium of communication. Her school has helped her with speech and gestures to express herself,” said her mother.

Vohra explained that the proceeds of Srishti’s works that are sold online will go to charity.

“It will be Shristi’s way to contribute to the well-being of underprivileged children with special needs.”

Website for sustainable aids

Another 17-year old student of Dubai College - Aryaman Arora - has launched a website which is a platform dedicated to designing aids that are simple, sustainable and affordable. “The idea is to create an impact for the differently abled,” said Arora.

Inspired by UAE’s Year of Sustainability, Arora designed products to fight climate change. Some of his design innovations include a braille padlock and an OSB chair.

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Aryaman Arora with his OSB chair. Image Credit: Supplied

“An OSB chair is a chair made up of waste palm tree chips compressed and glued together. This material is considerably more sustainable than deforested timber and provides the same level of strength,” explained Arora.

“My initiative is aimed at designing aids that can help people in need, especially those with disabilities. Through my website, I plan to create awareness about products and make them accessible to a larger audience.”

Arora said that his innovation promotes sustainability and affordability in the creation of aids, which he hopes will reach the masses. “My products are designed to make life easier for people with disabilities and help them lead a more comfortable life. These aids will be relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture.”

App for OCDs patients 

A third student from Dubai, Jash Shah, a Computer Science undergraduate, said coding, artificial intelligence and helping anyone is what interests him. “I have launched a social work app called ‘ChangeTheLife’ which helps people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).”

Jash Shah has come up with a social work app called ‘ChangeTheLife’ which helps people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) Image Credit: Supplied

Shah has also launched a startup - Star Rise – which is an internship app to connect students with companies. It comes with exclusive features such as a leaderboard which links the students’ previous semester average grades course-wise, which hiring companies can view.

“Potential employers will see a student’s academic scores and other achievements. Students can create their resume with us and apply for internships. Companies can directly chat with the students. Plus there are various filter options available where students can keep a track of the internships they have applied to and also save internships for future visits! The app will be launched on April 27 and will be available on both App Store & Google Play Store. It is completely free to use! Plus according to my research, this is the only app dedicated for internships in a country! Please visit my site for further details,” said Shah.