Nikil Srinivasan, an intern under the Kovai.co Connect program is one of last year’s Smart India Hackathon 2022 ( A nationwide initiative by Govt. Of India) winners from Coimbatore. Over one and a half months, he and his team developed an app that provides people with activities to help them handle negative emotions. The app provides a quiz to evaluate the extent of the user’s negative emotions. If it is at a moderate score, it provides activities to help stabilize themselves, reduce negativity, and lift their mood.
The app tells the user to visit a medical practitioner if the score is extremely high. His team of six people participated at the Kongu Engineering College nodal center. Their idea had to clear three levels of evaluation during the final 36-hour continuous hackathon on April 25 and 26, when they presented the app.
Srinivasan, had always had a passion for building apps. As a first-year Computer and Communication Engineering student at Sri Eshwar Engineering College, Nikil began learning front-end development of apps as a hobby. “I loved the challenge of developing a smooth and beautiful user interface. It was a passion, so I began learning from my friends and seniors in the computer science engineering department and YouTube,” says Srinivasan, who did not want to spend on a professional course.
While his college curriculum only taught him basic programming, including C, C++, Java, and Python, he used his time during the covid lockdowns to learn “Flutter”. Flutter is an open-source framework by Google that allows users to build beautiful, natively compiled, multi-platform applications. Using this knowledge, Srinivasan began teaming up with his friends and building apps for fun.
Around March last year, a group of students from Srinivasan’s college’s Artificial Intelligence and Data Science department and Computer Science and & Business Studies department approached him to join their team as a front-end developer to participate in the Smart India hackathon. “The group said they tried learning front-end development independently over the past two months but could not and asked if I would like to join them. Realizing it was a great opportunity, I agreed,” says Srinivasan.
The team chose a statement based on mental health in the healthcare sector among the many problem statements. “It was March 2022, and students kept talking about the pressure on them due to NEET and how many of them did not know how to handle it,” says Srinivasan. “It was almost a natural choice,”.
Work on developing the app began in July 2022. “We assigned two members for research, which included meeting more than five psychiatrists and pouring through many research papers. The whole process gave us much insight into mental health,” says Srinivasan, who, along with another team member, worked on developing the front end, while two other team members developed the app’s back end.
While the victory thrilled Srinivasan, who received his award honored by his college only on April 10, this year, he says the entire process taught him an important life lesson– “Any path to success will be filled with hurdles,”. Srinivasan says the team faced multiple hurdles throughout the app development process.
“I found my system not compatible with Flutter because it demands high performance. So, I had to move my operating system from Windows to Linux, which I had to get used to. We also had to use GitHub to collaborate on our development of the app. That created a lot of issues while merging all our developments and changes, which we had to keep sorting out,” recollects Srinivasan. “The fact that the others were using the Windows environment while I was using Linux also created problems. It was frustrating then, but now looking back a lot of learning,” he adds.
With his passion for improving and working on user interfaces, Srinivasan plans to use his internship at Kovai.co further to improve his knowledge and skills in front-end development to produce the best product possible.
We at Kovai.co are proud to have Srinivasan on board and wish him all the best for his future.